Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Lindenwood College says woman walked carelessly in slip and fall suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Feb 9, 2015

Gunn amy collignon

A local college sued in a slip and fall case claims the plaintiff contributed to her alleged injuries by failing to keep a proper lookout while walking on the school’s bleachers.

According to the Oct. 10 complaint, plaintiffs Tonya and David Bouckaert claim Tonya was watching her daughter play basketball at Lindenwood College on Nov. 5, 2013. At the time, she was seated in the third row of the bleachers and got up to use the restroom before the game began.

“As plaintiff stepped down onto the end of the last row of bleachers, the seat suddenly swung forward,” the suit states. “Plaintiff consequently fell to the floor, hit her shoulder and head on the bleacher railing and injured her left knee. Plaintiff immediately felt pain in her left knee.”

As a result of the incident, the plaintiff allegedly sustained injuries to her shoulders and head, tore the ACL in her left knee, endured a left knee medial meniscus tear and a left knee MCL sprain, the complaint states. She also claims she underwent a left knee reconstruction surgery, experienced pain, swelling and tightness in her left knee and became limited in her normal everyday activities.

The plaintiffs blame the college for causing her injuries, saying the school negligently allowed a broken bleacher seat to remain on its premises, allowed her to utilize the bleacher seat, failed to inspect the unsafe condition of the bleachers, failed to repair the condition, failed to warn of the dangerous condition and allowed the bleachers to remain unsafe.

Lindenwood answered the complaint on Nov. 14 denying the allegations against it. Instead, it accuses Boukaert of failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to exercise due care, failing to keep her body under control, walking too fast for conditions and walking carelessly or negligently.

The plaintiffs seek a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson is presiding over the case.

Amy Collignon Gunn of The Simon Law Firm in St. Louis is representing the Bouckaerts.

Matthew Cohen of Des Moines, Iowa, represents Lindenwood. The defendant requests a trial by jury.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-688

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