Plaintiff says she broke leg in half after falling when lights were “prematurely shut off” as she exited gospel event.
By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
A Tupelo woman filed a lawsuit this month against the Crossroads Arena, the city of Corinth, Alcorn County, Gospel Tabernacle and 10 John Does.
The plaintiff, Sharon Sanders, alleges she was severely injured during a fall when the lights were “prematurely shut off by one of the event staff” while people were still in the building or attempting to exit a gospel event June 7, 2017.
The exit became very dark, and Sanders could not see a drop-off of “approximately 6 to 8 inches in the walkway outside the exit,” the lawsuit charges. “She lost her footing when she unexpectedly stepped off the edge and fell violently to the pavement.”
Sanders’ leg bone “broke completely in half and splintered into more than 20 pieces,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit alleges violations to city ordinance and the International Building Code, specifically the section that says exits should be illuminated when a building is occupied.
A dangerous situation was created at the Crossroads Arena premises by shutting the lights off as patrons were still inside the building and exiting, the lawsuit asserts. Furthermore, there were not proper markings warning of a drop-off in the walkway “just outside the west end exit.”
City of Corinth Attorney Wendell Trapp Jr. said Tuesday morning that he was not familiar with the lawsuit, and Josh Hodum of Gospel Tabernacle declined comment. Bill Davis, who serves as attorney for the Crossroads Arena board and the Alcorn County Board of Supervisors, said he could not comment since the matter deals with pending litigation.
Sanders was injured because the regulations were not adhered to, the lawsuit asserts. She seeks economic and non-economic damages with the amount to be determined at trial.
Defendants had a duty to keep patrons safe and warn of potential dangers, the suit, which alleges negligence, charges. Defendants failed to fix the dangerous walkway and did not properly recruit, train and supervise event staff, it says.
Sanders was hospitalized at Magnolia Regional Health Center in Corinth for seven days and a rod was placed in her leg, the complaint says. Afterward, she was admitted to inpatient rehab in Fulton for a month.
As of this month, she has received about a year of medical care, including physical therapy, as a result of the fall, and treatment is expected to continue indefinitely, the lawsuit adds.
“Mrs. Sanders has suffered greatly and is still recovering,” the lawsuit says. “She has experienced extreme pain and mental anguish.”
The lawsuit was filed June 6 in Alcorn County Circuit Court. The plaintiff is represented by Oxford attorney Brad Morris.