A woman who attended an American Cancer Society (ACS) fund-raising event is suing the organization as well as the city of Wood River and East Alton Wood River School District #14 over injuries she sustained last year.

Roberta Vandalia claims she hurt her left arm and eyes after falling on a step outside a washroom at the East Alton-Wood River Community High School football stadium during a Relay For Life event on June 24, 2006.

Represented by Lance R. Mallon and Dawna M. Hale of the Mallon Law firm in Wood River, Vandalia is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages.

She claims the defendants failed to provide proper lighting at the entrance of the ladies washroom, failed to give warning of a step-off near the washroom and failed to provide adequate markings on the step.

Vandalia claims she has incurred pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and disability.

"That it then and there became and was the duty of the defendant, American Cancer Society, to operate, manage, maintain, and control said premises in a manner so as not to cause injury to the plaintiff and others then and there lawfully on said premises," states the complaint filed June 11 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Relay For Life is an overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for the ACS's research and programs. During the event, teams of people gather at schools, fairgrounds, or parks and take turns walking or running laps. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.


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