Woman sues 'Art House' residents after breaking ankle on tree house

By Alejandro de los Rios | Sep 28, 2010


Orleans Parish resident LaRonda Paisant is suing the New Orleans Art House, also known as The Treehouse, in Orleans Parish Civil District Court after she allegedly broke her ankle after riding a slide attached to the tree house installation.

Paisant's lawsuit claims that she was at the house on Monday, May 6 and that she broke her ankle after she fell off a three-foot drop at the end of the slide "which allowed the petitioner to without warning land on her ankle."

New Orleans attorneys Morris Reed Jr. and Lionel Lon Burns filed the original petition for damages on May 18. It claims that the defendant is liable for her broken ankle because of failure to maintain property and that they "should have known of the sliding board's shortcomings" among other charges.

According to court papers, Paisant terminated Burns' legal services as of June 6.

New Orleans attorneys Anthony Irpino and James Carter enrolled as additional counsel of record on July 19.

New Orleans attorney Lisa McLachlan is representing the Art House.

On July 26, she field motions for exceptions of insufficiency of citation and insufficiency of service of processes. The motion argues that "plaintiffs left the pleadings with a yet unidentified person at the property located at 1614 Esplanade Ave" and were not personally served to the Art House owner, John Orgon, who does not live at the residence.

A Sept. 24 hearing on defense exceptions was continued without date.

The Art House, located in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, was the location of several parties over the course of six months from August 2009 to January 2010, with the tree house installation a major attraction. The house and parties were feature in local magazines and news broadcasts.

In February, city officials cited the house in which the Art House residents live for several safety and health code violations and shut off power to the premises.

Local media covered the city's actions as people protested the shutting down of the house. The residents have since moved to a new location in the Marigny/Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans.

Orleans Parish Chief Judge Lloyd Medley is overseeing this case.

Orleans Parish Case 2010-05056

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