CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County woman has filed a suit against a Charleston attorney after she was injured when she tried to get on his horse after she had been drinking.

Shellie Maraman Laws filed the suit June 26 in Kanawha Circuit Court against James Pierson.

According to the suit, Pierson hosted a party July 1, 2006, on his property in Kanawha County, at which Laws was a guest. During the party, Pierson supplied alcohol and offered horseback rides to his guests.

While Laws was at the party, she partook of the alcohol and agreed to a ride Pierson offered her.

While attempting to get on the horse, Laws fell and sustained injuries, the suit says.

Laws, who reportedly used to work for Pierson, claims Pierson breached a duty to his guests, by failing to exercise the ordinary care necessary to prevent the injuries suffered. Laws claims Pierson created a dangerous atmosphere by offering alcohol to his guests, then providing them the opportunity to participate in the "inherently dangerous activity of horseback," the suit says.

According to its Web site, Pierson's law firm "practices in the areas of bankruptcy, personal injury, family related law and divorce and contractor litigation, including mechanic's lien litigation."

Due to her injuries, Laws missed work and suffered lost income damages. She also suffered loss of enjoyment of life, pain, suffering, annoyance, inconvenience and aggravation.

Laws seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Attorney Richard Holtzapfel is representing Laws. The case has been assigned to Judge Charlie King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 08-C-1242

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