Capital Ventures sued over alleged pavement hazard

By Kyla Asbury | May 7, 2013

HUNTINGTON - A Winfield woman is suing Capital Ventures Corporation after she claims it is responsible for injuries she sustained from a hazardous condition on its property.

On May 20, 2011, Connie Jean Lawrence was visiting her daughter at her daughter's apartment in Huntington, which was owned by Capital, according to a complaint filed May 2 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Lawrence claims upon returning to her daughter's apartment on foot from running an errand, she tripped on an uneven and raised portion of the pavement and fell, which caused her injuries.

As a result of the incident, Lawrence suffered serious and permanent bodily injury and emotional trauma, which required medical and psychological treatment for her physical and emotional injuries; pain and suffering; and other economic and non-economic damages, according to the suit.

Lawrence claims in addition to the defective and hazardous condition of the pavement, the immediate area where the incident occurred was dark and poorly lit, which meant she was unable to detect or avoid the defective and hazardous condition of the pavement.

The incident was reported to a representative, agent or employee of the defendant shortly after it occurred, who advised Lawrence to seek medical treatment, according to the suit, and the defendant was made aware of the incident and the existence of the potential for civil litigation.

Lawrence claims shortly after the incident, the defendant corrected the defective or hazardous condition of the uneven pavement by adding brightly colored visible paint, striping or other markings to the pavement and by adding lighting all in an effort to remove the defective or hazardous condition.

The defendant owed a duty to its invitees to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, free of any known, hidden defects or hazardous conditions which could result in injury and failed to do so, according to the suit.

Lawrence claims the defendant had actual knowledge of her injuries and the potential for civil litigation and, despite this knowledge, intentionally and willfully destroyed evidence in the matter by causing the location to be permanently changed and depriving her of the opportunity to present evidence of the defective and hazardous condition that caused her injuries.

Capital "intended to defeat plaintiff's ability to prevail in potential litigation by removing and destroying this evidence. As a direct and proximate result of the defendant's actions, plaintiff suffered serious injuries and damages," the complaint states.

Lawrence is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Jon D. Hoover and Scott W. Andrews of Hoover Andrews PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 13-C-281

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