Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Woman sues over trip, fall at Collinsville Italian Fest


By John Breslin | Aug 15, 2019


EDWARDSVILLE -- A woman is suing organizers of a festival to celebrate Italian food and culture for allegedly failing to provide safe electrical cables running across a sidewalk. 

Lisa Barras filed the complaint in Madison County Circuit Court alleging Collinsville Chamber of Commerce and the executive committee managing the town's Italian Fest should have known the danger of allowing uncovered cables to be laid down on the sidewalk. 

Barras, who attended the September 2017 festival with her family, tripped over a cable and fell during the later evening visit, the suit states. She allegedly fractured both her elbows and suffered torn tendons in one of her shoulders.

The plaintiff claims she was walking along the sidewalk in the evening when the natural light was low. She did not realize the danger of tripping and falling as there were no warnings.

Apart from the pain and suffering caused by the incident, Barras also claims she suffered lost earnings and had to pay for medical expenses following the fall.

The chamber did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Record.

Italian Fest is jointly run by the chamber and an executive committee. They share the same address and telephone number.

Barras claims the defendants control, co-ordinate, and manage all aspects of the festival, including the hiring of the electricians tasked with lighting the space and vendors.

They also have a right to inform those electricians to move any cable, require them to be taped down or placed under a portable speed bump, or be painted in a high visbility color.

"Defendant knew, or should have known, the hazardous conditions" and had the "time and means to remedy the situation prior to the trip and fall," the suit states. 

The defendants are accused of allowing the cable to be laid down on the sidewalk in low light conditions, failing to wrap the cable in a high visibility color, failing to cover the cable, failing to inspect the cable, and failing to warn attendees of the alleged danger.

Barras is represented by Matthew S. Marlen of Belleville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 19-L-1097

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