Catholic Diocese of Springfield sued after Collinsville church-goer trips near reverend's bathroom

Kelly Holleran Aug. 28, 2012, 9:34am

A woman has filed suit against the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, alleging she fell on a step on the church's premises and sustained a fracture in her left leg.

Leona H. Peskar alleges she was attending a seminar at the Ss Peter and Paul Catholic Church at 207 Vandalia St. in Collinsville on Dec. 4, 2010. During a break in the seminar, Reverend John Beverage invited Peskar to use his personal bathroom since the public bathroom could not accommodate the large crowd, according to the complaint filed Aug. 22 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Peskar went to use Beverage's bathroom, which was located down a hallway with a tile floor and a small step that was not marked with a sign or warning, the suit states. As Peskar was walking down the hallway, she failed to see the step, fell and sustained a left femur fracture that required surgical repair, the complaint says.

In addition to her fracture, Peskar claims she experienced pain and suffering, incurred medical costs, lost wages and experienced a diminished quality of life.

Peskar blames the Diocese of Springfield for causing her injuries, saying it negligently failed to highlight the presence of the step, failed to use a sign to warn of the step, failed to verbally warn of the presence of the step, opened the reverend's bathroom and subjected patrons to the unmarked step and failed to provide adequate lighting in the hallway.

In its complaint, Peskar is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

John H. Leskera of Leskera Law Firm in Collinsville will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-1336.

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