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Woman sues fire company over flower pot

September 10, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- A Hagerstown woman on Tuesday filed a $150,000 lawsuit against the Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co., saying she was injured when she tripped over a flower pot at the fire hall in December 2006, Washington County Circuit Court records show.

Shirley Hiser alleges she tripped over a concrete flower pot near the fire hall's entrance, fell and was injured Dec. 21, 2006. In the lawsuit filed by Hagerstown attorney Arthur Schneider, Hiser contends, "there were not any warning signs posted and/or any other indication(s) warning patrons of the flower pot being placed in the walkway," court documents show.

Hiser often attends the fire company's weekly bingo fundraisers, Chief William Garrett said Thursday afternoon. He said he remembered that she was injured some time ago.

Hiser suffered "severe and permanent injuries," including a broken left wrist, according to the suit. Her injuries were caused by the negligence of the fire company, the suit alleges.

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The fire company "failed to properly maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition for its patrons by keeping the entrance way and walkways unobstructed," the suit alleges.

Hiser alleges the fire company was negligent for not warning visitors of the "potentially dangerous situation," court documents show.

"The Defendant [Maugansville Fire Co.] failed to act reasonably in its maintenance and inspection of the premises in that it failed to take reasonable precautions to protect the invitee/plaintiff from the obstructed entrance way," the suit alleges.

Garrett referred questions to the fire company's president, Leonard Horst.

"At this point, I don't know anything," Horst said Thursday afternoon.

There were no concrete flower pots visible Thursday night at two entrances to the fire hall.

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