St. Louis jury awards skater $250,000 for his personal injuries after fall in Forest Park

rollerblade.jpgA St. Louis jury awarded Randall Thompson $250,000 for personal injuries he sustained in St. Louis after he fell while skating in Forest Park two years ago. At the time of the fall, Thompson had been skating in Forest Park three times a week for nearly 15 years.

Thompson, 63, fell and hit his head on the trail and sustained a subdural hematoma. He underwent surgery to remove accumulated blood on his brain. Mud had built up on the trail, and a Forest Park maintenance worker testified that mud had a tendency to build up in the spot where Thompson fell. The area was adjacent to the horse stalls, and mud would drain from the stalls after heavy rains. Typically, maintenance crews would shovel the mud off the trail, but they had not done so at the time Thompson fell. There was testimony that this had been an ongoing problem for 30 years.

The attorney for the City of St. Louis argued that it is the skater’s responsibility to watch out for dangerous elements on the trail when he is rollerblading. However, the jury did not fully buy this argument, and assessed 15% fault to Thompson, and 85% fault to Forest Park. Thompson’s net reward was $212,500.