FGM Architects is being sued by a woman who fell on steps inside Effingham High School's cafetorium last year.

Minerva Hires claims FGM, the school's architect, is negligent for designing steps with a drop down of approximately six inches.

According to the suit filed Nov. 22 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Hires tripped on a row of steps while attending a public function at the school on May 6, 2005.

She claims the architect's plans failed to include a ramp along an aisle next to the western wall of the cafetorium, failed to have a continuous hand rail in that aisle, failed to include a ramp in an area designed to be used as an aisle with an elevation change of less than 12 inches from step to step and violated safety code regulations.

Seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages, Hires claims she sustained severe injuries which required hospitalization and surgeries and that she suffered pain, disability, disfigurement and loss of a normal life.

She is represented by Fred Johnson of Heller, Holmes & Associates of Mattoon.

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