Americans with Disabilities Act invoked in nursing home trip and fall suit

Tia Benton Sep. 17, 2012, 9:48am

Douglas D. McGinity

NEW ORLEANS - An elderly woman has filed a lawsuit against a St. Tammany Parish nursing home due to an alleged injury she sustained on the premises.

Mildred B. Hallal filed suit against Archdiocese of New Orleans, St. Tammany Manor, Rouquette Lodge Residents Association, Inc. and Catholic Mutual group in the Orleans Parish Central District Court on Aug. 2.

Hallal claims that she and several other elderly handicapped residents were forced to enter the nursing home through a kitchen alley way where they were required to use a dangerous uneven wooden staircase that did not have a handrail. The plaintiff alleges that she lost her balance and fell onto the concrete at the bottom of the steps causing her to sustain a broken wrist and serious permanent back injuries.

The defendant is accused of failing to maintain a properly functioning handicapped entrance, forcing elderly handicapped residents through a kitchen alley not suitable for elderly handicapped individuals, allowing an unsafe condition to exist for a prolonged period of time in an area traveled by elderly handicapped residents, failing to provide railing on the step system used during the incident, failing to inspect or up keep the wooden step system, failing to warn residents of the unsafe conditions, failing to train employees and failing to abide by Louisiana state laws in conjunction with the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for physical pain and suffering, permanent disability, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, lost wages and earning potential and medical expenses accounting for her past, present and future medical attention.

Hallal is represented by Douglas D. McGinity of Covington, Louisiana-based McGinity Law Firm, LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division M Judge Paulette R. Irons.

Case no. 2012-7555.

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