Catholic Diocese responds to woman's complaint of falling on step

Christina Stueve Hodges Oct. 11, 2012, 2:00am

The Catholic Diocese of Springfield has responded to a woman's lawsuit after she blamed the church for allegedly falling on a step on the church's premises.

Leona Peskar alleged she was at a seminar at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Collinsville Dec. 4, 2010. During a break, the Rev. John Beverage invited her to use his bathroom since the public bathroom could not accommodate the large crowd, according to the complaint filed in Madison County Circuit Court in August.

As Peskar was walking down the hallway, she failed to see the step, fell and sustained a left femur fracture that required surgical repair, her complaint says.

The diocese claims the plaintiff failed to mitigate her own damages, and any damages she sustained were her own contributory fault.

The diocese also states that any damages allegedly sustained by the plaintiff were caused by unrelated pre-existing conditions in the plaintiff.

The diocese further states that the step at issue the plaintiff alleges to have caused her injuries was open and obvious in nature and created no forseeable risk of harm, and the defendant had no duty to remedy the condition.

Peskar blames the Diocese of Springfield for causing her injuries. She seeks more than $50,000.

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

Troy Bozarth and Dougglas Stultz of HeplerBroom represent the defense.

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

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