Couple blames school board for fall at GW gym

By Cara Bailey | Dec 29, 2006

CHARLESTON -- A Kanawha County couple is suing the Kanawha County Board of Education because of an accident at the George Washington High School gymnasium.

A suit filed by Christina and Thomas Carpenter states standing water on the gym floor caused Christina Carpenter to fall after watching her son play in a youth basketball game in December of 2004.

"As soon as her foot touched the puddle of water, Plaintiff Christina Carpenter slipped, tripped and fell due to the sudden and unexpected loss of traction," the suit says.

As a result, Christina Carpenter "suffered a badly broken ankle, which has required multiple surgical procedures and ongoing medical care.

The suit states that fans coming to watch the game tracked in water, and no rugs, mats or signs were placed to alert people of the wet floor. By failing to warn patrons of the gym about the wet floor, the BOE is negligent, the suit also claims.

Also, "the BOE was further negligent by failing to provide an adequate number of custodial staff at the gym on the date of the accident."

Thomas Carpenter is also suing because he says he has suffered loss of consortium from his wife.

As a result of the broken ankle, Christina Carpenter has incurred medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, future pain, expenses and emotional distress, inconvenience, annoyance and loss of enjoyment of life.

The suit seeks compensatory damages as well as punitive damages due to the defendant's willful, wanton and reckless conduct. The complaint was filed by attorney Keith A. Jones.

Judge Tod Kaufman has been assigned to the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-2667

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