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Woman sues over racetrack fall

November 09, 1999|By JULIE E. GREENE and DAVE McMILLIONs

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Virginia woman is suing Penn National Gaming for more than $1 million, blaming the firm for her injury from a fall at Charles Town Races two years ago, according to the lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

Dorothy Brent, of Middleburg, Va., claims she fell on Nov. 17, 1997, as she was leaving the racetrack's casino and turned her ankle on the elevated edge of an exit door ramp, according to the lawsuit filed Nov. 4.

Brent claims the elevated edge was unmarked and there was no railing to help her prevent or break her fall, court records state.

Her left hand and wrist were severely injured from the fall, said Brent's Charles Town attorney, William Martin.

Brent had to have surgery on her wrist and hand and has suffered a partial disability, the lawsuit states.

She is asking for $1 million in compensatory damages, more than $5,000 to cover medical costs and an unspecified amount in punitive damages, the lawsuit states.

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Penn National gets a dozen of these "slip and falls" lawsuits every year, said Bill Bork Sr. of Penn National in Pennsylvania.

"Some are legitimate and some are not," Bork said.

Bork said the firm automatically turns these lawsuits over to its insurance representatives, who decide whether to contest the lawsuits or settle them.

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