Pinata incident allegedly results in brain injury

Kyle Barnett Oct. 30, 2012, 1:19am

GRETNA – A Jefferson Parish woman is suing the host and attendees of a party where she claims she was injured due to a blow to the head in a pinata incident.

Maria Hebe Dawsey filed suit against William Matamore, Jennifer Matamores, Brandon Shackelford, Cheryl Schackelford and their insurers in the 24th Judicial District Court on Sept. 24. Dawsey claims she was invited to her sister Jennifer Matamore's home for a party at 2513 Indiana Ave. in Kenner. The plaintiff claims that while at the party the Matamores invited their guests to strike at a pinata with a metal pipe and collect the candy that dropped out of it. Dawsey asserts that Brandon Shackelford broke open the pinata and that when the plaintiff was attempting to collect the candy that fell out Shackelford fell and struck her on the head with the pipe.

The plaintiff claims that after the incident she was hospitalized for two weeks with a grievous head injury for which she was later transferred to a rehabilitation facility for three months. Dawsey alleges she still suffers from after effects of the blow including difficulty walking, trembling in her legs, memory problems, mental distress, anxiety and nightmares.

The Matamores are accused of supplying the guests with a metal pipe to strike the pinata that was much harder than necessary to break the pinata, failing to erect the pinata in a location that provided sufficient clearance for others to collect its contents and failing to properly supervise Shackelford when he was striking the pinata.

The Shackelfords are accused of using the metal pipe provided by the Matamores to strike the pinata, failing to listen to guidance about how he was striking the pinata and continuing to hold the pipe while he moved and fell after striking the pinnate.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for pain and suffering, mental anguish and distress, permanent disability, disfigurement and medical expenses.

Dawsey is representing herself in the case.

The case has been assigned to Division M Judge Henry G. Sullivan, Jr.

Case no. 719-395.

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