Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Guest allegedly died from injuries after falling down stairs


By Lhalie Castillo | Jun 15, 2018

BELLEVILLE — An estate administrator is suing a property owner, for alleged negligence and wrongful death.

Alisa Cotton, independent administrator of the estate of Louise Diggs, filed a complaint on May 25 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Vincent Lawrence, alleging negligence. 

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that Diggs was a guest at the property located at 446 Schwarz Road in O'Fallon and owned by Lawrence on May 26, 2016. Cotton alleges Lawrence had laundry, toys and other items on the concrete stairs leading to the basement when Diggs tripped and fell over the objects. 

As a result, Diggs allegedly suffered traumatic injuries, intracranial hemorrhaging and facial fractures, which allegedly led to cardiac arrest. 

Diggs was admitted to Memorial Hospital and transferred to Barnes Jewish Hospital that same day. She was later transferred to Kindred Hospital St. Louis on June 9. 

She died on Aug. 16 as a result of the injuries she suffered from the fall as well as "subsequent and foreseeable neglect" from the employees at Kindred Hospital. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendant allowed obstructions and hazards to be present on the stairs and failed to ensure that the stairs on his property were not unreasonably dangerous. 

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks damages in an amount that exceeds $50,000, plus costs of this action and any further relief that the court deems just. 

She is represented by Ryan J. Mahoney of Cates Mahoney LLC in Swansea.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 18-L-371

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Cates Mahoney LLC St. Clair County Circuit Court

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