Saying the town and a well-established local theater troupe are at fault, a Wilton woman has filed a lawsuit in connection with a fall during a performance last summer.
Leopoldine “Polly” Verrico at about 8:35 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, rose from her seat at the start of the first intermission during the Town Players of New Canaan’s performance of “John Loves Mary” to go to the bathroom. That’s a comedy about the complicated love life of a returning GI, the film version of which starred Ronald Reagan (1949).
Verrico “stepped into a stairway adjacent to her seat”—in Row C, Seat 11 at the Powerhouse Theater in Waveny, according to the complaint, filed on her behalf by attorney Ephraim Fink of New York City-based MayaLaw.
“While some lighting had been turned on at the beginning of the Intermission, at the time and location Plaintiff began descending the stairway, the lighting conditions were poor and inadequate, making it very difficult for Plaintiff to see and safely make her way down the stairway,” said the complaint, received June 1 by the Town Clerk’s office.
It continued: “Some steps on the stairway were marked with tape or other indicators assisting patrons to discern the location of the step and allow for safe use of the stairway, however not all steps were marked in this way or otherwise marked, in particular, one step on the stairway that Plaintiff could not see and slipped on was not marked at all. Plaintiff slipped and fell while attempting to descend the stairway adjacent to her seat as a result of a defective step that was not properly or inadequately marked, or not marked at all like similarly situated adjacent steps. Plaintiff fell against the adjacent wall banging her head.”
She “landed awkwardly on the stairway, ground and adjacent wall and sustained serious physical personal injury,” according to the lawsuit.
After it happened, someone with the troupe “performed an immediate repair of marking the defective step advising the Plaintiff that it should have been marked with tape like the other adjacent steps before the accident occurred.”
Both the town and Town Players are accused of negligence.
Verrico herself, according to the complaint, has suffered concussion, post-concussion syndrome, neurological deficit sequela, head trauma, dizziness, vision difficulties, forgetfulness and left shoulder internal derangement. Fink is seeking compensatory monetary damages for pain and suffering, damages for medical treatment, reimbursement for medical bills, costs and whatever other relief the court deems appropriate.
The town in September had received a notice of intent to sue from Fink.