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St. Louis Man Awarded $40K for Casino Trip and Fall Case
The S.E. Farris Law Firm successfully represents fall victim in “tough” case against River City Casino
Earlier this month, a St. Louis County Courthouse jury ordered River City Casino to pay damages in the amount of $40,000 to a St. Louis man who was injured after tripping inside the casino in 2013.
Plaintiff Richard Hawkins, 78 at the time of the fall, was exiting the south turnstiles when he hit his foot on the exposed edge of a floor tile bordering a carpeted area. Mr. Hawkins fell and landed face first, knocking out his permanent dental bridge, according to court documents.
“Initially, Richard thought he caught his foot on a hand sanitizer station that was next to the floor transition,” said the plaintiff’s attorney, Spencer Farris of The S.E. Farris Law Firm.
According to court documents, the fall was recorded on the casino’s video surveillance system. “After watching the video, it became clear that he stubbed his toe on the marble floor edge. When we went and examined the area, we could tell that the carpet was worn down. There was at least a quarter-inch gap between the carpet and tile,” said Farris.
During the trial, it was alleged that the casino knew of another trip and fall situation that occurred prior to Mr. Hawkins’ injury. A woman testified that she fell near the south turnstiles in 2010 and reported to casino officials that the area was dangerous, according to court documents.
The casino claimed they had round the clock surveillance of the area where Mr. Hawkins fell, and that there were no other falls. Trial testimony showed that they had many more cameras than eyes on them, and that they didn’t even see Mr. Hawkins fall as it happened.
According to court documents, the plaintiff’s dentist testified that it would cost from $13,000 to $23,000 to restore his permanent teeth. Hawkins previously attempted to negotiate a settlement of $25,000 to which the casino didn’t respond. On April 1, judgment was entered in favor of Hawkins for the amount of $40,000.
“This was a tough case in a challenging venue, but we’re thankful that the jury agreed that our client was unnecessarily injured,” said Farris. “A large portion of the casino’s clientele are seniors who are at risk of fall injuries. We hope they finally address this hazard and prevent more folks from getting hurt.”