Lizzy Fitzsousa Apr. 15, 2014, 5:43pm

NEW ORLEANS – A school chaperone is suing Audubon Zoo after she allegedly fell through a bridge on its premises and injured her knee.

Brenda Landeche filed suit against Audubon Nature Institute Inc., and Audubon Nature Institute Foundation in the Orleans Civil District Court on Jan. 22.

Landeche alleges that while chaperoning school children on a field trip to Audubon Zoo, she fell through a broken bridge and severely injured her knee. Landeche claims the rope webbing bridge straddling Monkey Hill was frayed and in disrepair and because of this her foot fell through a gap in the webbing and she fell, twisting her knee. She claims this injury caused severe, painful and permanent injuries and included multiple ruptures and tears to her right knee requiring surgery.

Audubon is accused of failing to exercise reasonable care to keep a highly traveled area of the zoo in a reasonably safe condition.

Landeche is suing for damages including compensation for all past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life.

The plaintiff is represented by Yigal Bander of Manasseh, Gill, Knipe & Belanger PLC of Baton Rouge.

Audubon answered the suit on Feb. 13 claiming no wrongdoing and stating that any injury was caused solely by Landeche. Further, the defendant claims any injury was caused by Landeche’s negligence, failure to see what should have been seen, failure to take proper precautions for her safety, and failure to use due and reasonable care under the circumstances.

Audubon is represented by John W. Ellinghausen of Kinney, Ellinghausen, Richard & Deshazo of New Orleans.

The case is assigned to Division F Judge Christopher J. Bruno.

Case no. 2014-00820.

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