Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Nov. 25, 2013, 11:33am

A  Granite City dental office is denying allegations made against it in a lawsuit filed by a patient confined to a wheelchair alleging he suffered a concussion after attempting to roll his wheelchair over a step leading to the entrance.

According to the complaint filed Aug. 26, Michael Bazzell, who is paraplegic, claims he was attempting to visit Granite City Dental Care on Jan. 10, 2012. The dental office did not have a ramp, only offering a four or five-inch step leading to the front door, the suit claims.

“Plaintiff attempted to enter the building by rolling his wheelchair over the four- to five-inch step,” the suit states. “Suddenly and without warning, plaintiff’s wheelchair fell backwards causing plaintiff to hit his head on the wall in front of defendant’s dental office and to hit his head on defendant’s cement sidewalk.”

Bazzell blames Granite City Dental Care for failing to construct an accessible ramp, failing to warn patrons that it did not have an accessible ramp and failing to maintain its property.

Defendant Granite City Dental Care answered the complaint on Oct. 3 through attorney Roger F. Wilson of the Law Office of Stephen H. Larson in St. Louis denying the allegations against it.

In its affirmative defenses, Granite City Dental Care argues that the plaintiff is guilty of failing to keep a proper lookout for where he was traveling and for an open and obvious condition.

“That one or more or all of the foregoing acts of contributory negligence proximately caused her claimed injuries in whole or in part,” Wilson wrote.

Bazzell seeks a judgment of more than $50,000.

Bill T. Walker of Granite City and James E. Parrot of St. Louis is representing the plaintiff.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 13-L-1436

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