Suing your hosts for tripping in their cluttered garage is a sure way to test a friendship. A Belleville woman is doing just that.

While vacationing at the home of Norman and Kim Melton in Downey, Calif., Kathryn Zaring tripped over a saw and landed in a pile of bicycles.

Seeking at least $50,000 from the Meltons, Zaring filed the suit in St. Clair County July 28, claiming back and leg injuries from the incident that occurred on Aug. 6, 2003.

According to the suit, Zaring entered the Melton's garage carrying two bags and a purse, when Kim Melton suggested she place the bags in the back seat of the car.

Zaring stepped backwards to comply with the suggestion, but tripped.

She claims the Meltons negligently placed the saw in the walkway of the garage, failed to warn her of the existence of the saw and carelessly directed her attention to the rear of the vehicle and away from her path of travel.

The suit claims serious, painful and permanent injuries to her back, leg and body as a whole. Zaring also claims she sustained mental anguish, depression, pain, disability, lost wages, and has been permanently prevented from attending to her usual affairs and duties.

She is represented by former St. Clair County Chief Judge Stephen Kernan of Belleville.

05 L 432 20th Circuit)

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