Jury rules against plaintiff in suit against Churchill Downs Louisiana Horseracing

By Alejandro de los Rios | Oct 7, 2010


An Orleans Parish Civil District Court jury ruled Thursday that a plaintiff was not entitled to any damages in a racetrack liability suit involving the Churchill Downs Louisiana Horseracing Company.

Sarah Drury sued her former employer, Churchill Downs, as well as Kenneth McPeek Racing Stable Inc. and the St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company after a bail of hay allegedly was thrown from a loft and struck Drury on the head.

The trial had begun on Oct. 1.

New Orleans attorney James Sutterfield filed the suit on behalf of Drury on July 7, 2005.

The suit claimed that Drury was working on the racetrack leading a horse to its stable in December 2004. Upon exiting the stable, another unidentified worker threw a 150-foot bail of hay out of a loft, which Drury did not see "because of the construction of the loft."

New Orleans attorneys Elizabeth Ryan and Andre Stakelum represented Churchill Downs. Stephen Duvalle, also from New Orleans, represented Kenneth McPeek Racing Stable and St. Paul Fire and Marine.

Churchill Downs filed a cross claim against McPeek stable claiming the liability for Drury's injury was entirely upon them and their anonymous employee.

In its defense, Churchill Downs also claimed that the incident happened as a "result of the plaintiff's own negligence and fault."

McPeek denied all liability and charges against them were also dismissed.

Orleans Parish Judge Piper Griffin presided.

Orleans Parish Case 2005-09287

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