An accumulation of butter on steps inside the Casino Queen rendered the gambling boat unseaworthy, according to a personal injury lawsuit filed by an employee.

Beverly Shinn of St. Clair County claims she slipped and fell as she was walking up a set of steps while on duty as a cage cashier Aug. 9, 2003.

"As a direct and proximate result of the unseaworthiness of defendants' vessel, equipment or crew, plaintiff has suffered severe, permanent and progressive injuries to her back, including the bones, tendons, nerves and soft tissues thereof," the complaint filed July 31 in St. Clair County states.

Shinn is represented by Sandor Korein and Stephen J. Telken of Korein Tillery in St. Louis. She filed the suit under provision of the Jones Act--a statute that allows maritime workers to recover legal damages.

In April, the Illinois Appellate Court ruled that employees who work riverboat casinos are "seamen" and can sue for damages under the Jones Act.

In that case, the court ruled that even though the Alton Belle Casino no longer cruised on the river, it was still a vessel in navigation.

The Casino Queen is a vessel that no longer cruises the river.

Shinn claims she has required substantial medical care and that she will continue to incur medical expenses in the future, among other things.

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