Jury awards $13,000 for Highland woman's injuries

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Sep 20, 2012


A Highland woman was awarded $13,000 after being injured from falling in her apartment complex three years ago.

The jury in Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla's courtroom reached the verdict at about 4 p.m. Thursday after hearing testimony for two full days.

Defendants in the case are Plaza North Condominium Owners Association and Terra Properties which owned and maintained the parking lot.

Plaintiff Barbara Zurliene, 74, who lived at 120 Suppinger, claims she and her family went to an all-you-can-eat crab leg buffet at Argosy Casino on June 25, 2009.

Upon returning home, her left foot caught on a parking block, she claims. She tripped and fell, with her head striking concrete, cutting her head across the forehead and which resulted in 28 stitches, she claims.

"That scar Barb has is not only physical but emotional," said Zurliene's attorney Ronald Foster. "This is something that Barb is going to take to the grave. This has affected Barb to the degree that now she feels that she is older.

"She should probably see a plastic surgeon," Ronald Foster said. "Before this incident, she took pride in her beauty."

Now her scar hurts her confidence, Foster said.

"This is the incident Barbara will tell you did break her emotionally," he added.

Foster said during opening arguments that a professional engineer would explain Plaza North had an inconsistent approach to how they dealt with parking blocks.

Defense attorney Jim Leritz said it was not like the plaintiff was in the woods without lights.

"Evidence will show there was plenty of lighting out there," he said.

Leritz said that Zurliene did not plan to have surgery and will not have further medical expenses.

"Mrs. Zurliene has driven all the way across the country. She remains a very competent, confident woman," he said.

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