Man alleges injuries due to bleacher collapse at 'NFL Experience'

By Lizzy Fitzsousa | May 2, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – A local man is suing after he was allegedly injured when his seat collapsed from under him at the convention center.

Craig Szewczyk filed suit against Party Planners West Inc., Axis Insurance Company, New Orleans Public Facility Management Inc. and New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in the Orleans Civil District Court.

Szewczyk claims he was watching his minor child play the “NFL Experience” on Jan. 31, 2013, when the loose football bleacher seat he sat upon which immediately collapsed under him, causing him to fall to the floor and land on his tailbone.

The defendant is accused of negligence, failing to properly and safely assemble the bleacher seating, failure to maintain the same in a safe manner, failing to obey safe construction and maintenance methods, failure to stage the NFL Experience safely, failing to warn petitioner of danger, carelessness, recklessness and gross negligence, failing of both defendants to properly and safely give notice and warning to petitioner that the said seat was unattached.

The suit also claims Party Planners West and the convention center were aware that other patrons had been injured in the same manner in the course of the event but did nothing to prevent it.

Szewczyk is suing for damages including pain and suffering, frightened reaction to a surprise fall, severe low back pain, with muscle spasms, radicular symptoms in his legs, possible aggravation of a previous low back condition, or also a herniated lumbar disc, limited range of motion with pain in all ranges, a possible fractured coccyx, a possible coccyx and/or lumbar back surgery, or both, aggravation to his lumbar spine, chiropractic and medical treatment and testing, physical rehabilitation therapy and prescription drug therapy.

The plaintiff is represented by André P. Guichard.

Axis, PPW and New Orleans PFM answered the suit on April 2, denying any wrongdoing. They are represented by attorney Foster P. Nash III.

Case is assigned to Division H Judge Val P. Exnicios.

Case no. 2014-00998.

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