Woman blames Republicans for broken leg

By John O'Brien | Sep 8, 2006

MARTINSBURG - A Berkeley Springs woman says she broke her leg at a rally for President George Bush and is suing the Republican National Committee.

Virginia Poffinberger filed the lawsuit Aug. 17 in Berkeley Circuit Court, claiming the committee on Aug. 17, 2004, failed to provide a safe environment during Bush's visit to Hedgesville.

The rally took place on the campus of Hedgesville High School, where Poffinberger says she tripped on some broken asphalt and fractured her fibula.

Though her medical expenses total $2,102.41, she seeks $30,000 because she says she is entitled to punitive damages.

"The defendant's reckless misconduct and/or gross negligence in the operation of the rally supports an award of punitive damages," the complaint says.

Lawrence Schutz of Burke, Schultz, Harman and Jenkinson in Martinsburg is representing Poffinberger.

"The plaintiff… was walking from the back of Hedgesville High School towards the football field where the rally was to take place when she twisted her left ankle on broke-up blacktop," the complaint says.

The school is not listed as a defendant.

Judge David Sanders has been assigned the case.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number 06-C-604

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