Couple blames Wheeling Park Commission for injuries at Oglebay

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 20, 2016

WHEELING – A couple is suing Wheeling Park Commission and others it claims are responsible for injuries sustained in a hotel parking lot.

Oglebay Resort & Conference Center; Oglebay Foundation Properties Inc.; Oglebay Institute; and the City of Wheeling were also named as defendants in the suit.

On Dec. 14, 2013, Nancy Belzer was waiting with her family in the Wilson Lodge lobby for a tour bus/trolley to pick them up for the Festival of Lights, according to a complaint filed in Ohio Circuit Court.

Belzer and her husband, Robert Belzer, claim normally the tour bus would pick up passengers directly in front of Wilson Lodge, however, on Dec. 14, 2013, there was a separate, special event being held at the lodge, which included valet parking in the location where the tour bus would normally pick up its passengers for the Festival of Lights tours.

To accommodate the valet parking, the defendants directed the tour bus to pick up passengers in a poorly lighted “makeshift” or temporary loading area of another section of the parking lot, according to the suit.

The Belzers claim it was dark outside when Nancy Belzer was asked to board the tour bus, and, while crossing the dimly lit parking lot, she tripped on an unmarked, raised portion of pavement that she could not see, causing her to fall forward and strike the tour bus, before falling to the ground and sustaining injuries.

The tour bus driver witnessed the incident and went to help Nancy Belzer and, back in the lobby of the lodge, she was given ice for her injured foot and personally filled out an incident report with the manager, according to the suit.

The Belzers claim the defendants owed a duty of reasonable care to Nancy Belzer to keep the premises in a safe condition and to protect her from dangers posed to passengers/customers boarding the tour bus.

The defective and negligently maintained area of the parking lot constituted a nuisance to Nancy Belzer and the general public, according to the suit.

The Belzers claim the defendants were further negligent by choosing the area as a temporary loading zone and the unsafe, negligent condition and nuisance created by the defendants caused Nancy Belzer to suffer a serious, permanent injury to her foot that will necessitate future surgery.

The Belzers are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Mark C. Willis of Willis & Willis Co. LPA; and Anthony R. Veneri of Veneri Law Offices.

Ohio Circuit Court case number: 15-C-350

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