CHARLESTON - An Ohio couple is suing Holiday Inns, Inc., following a 2005 incident in which they claim the Holiday Inn on Kanawha Boulevard in Charleston failed to keep its sidewalk safe.

Joyce Lynne Montroso and Phillip Montroso of South Point, Ohio, say a missing chunk of concrete in a sidewalk adjacent to the hotel caused Joyce Montroso to fall and break her ankle during last year's Charleston Sternwheel Regatta.

The two own and operate several concession trailers, which they set up at various festivals and special events like the Regatta. They say it was the 15th year they had been to the Regatta, and have stayed in the Holiday Inn each of those years.

The claim was filed in Kanawha Circuit Court on Feb. 1. J. Timothy DiPiero will represent the Montrosos, who state in their claim that Joyce Montroso stepped down out of her popcorn trailer and her foot became stuck in a triangular-shaped hole in the sidewalk caused by a missing piece of concrete.

With her right foot still jammed in the hole, she continued to move forward and her foot, as well as her entire body, twisted, causing her to hit the ground.

Joyce Montroso says she severely twisted and broke her right ankle, as well as injuring her left ankle, as a result of the negligence.

The couple claims that the Holiday Inn had a legal duty to maintain the sidewalk in front of its hotel by virtue of the City of Charleston Ordinance.

"As a pedestrian," the claim states, "the plaintiff has a right to assume that said premises were reasonably safe for the purposes for which she was present."

Joyce Montroso says she has sustained medical expenses, past, present and future; loss of income; loss of earning capacity; permanent disfigurement; loss of enjoyment of life; physical pain and suffering, past present and future; and mental and emotional pain and suffering, past present and future.

Phillip Montroso is also listed as a plaintiff, claiming a loss of consortium with his wife. Their claims calls it "a great and irreparable loss in that he will be deprived for the remainder of his life of the full companionship, consortium and services of his wife which he enjoyed prior to her injury."

The couple is seeking compensatory damages in an amount to be determined by a jury.

Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 06-C-173

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