St. Louis Man Awarded $40K for Casino Trip and Fall Case

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The S.E. Farris Law Firm successfully represents fall victim in "tough" case against River City Casino

Earlier this month, a St. Louis County Courthouse jury ordered River City Casino to pay damages in the amount of $40,000 to a St. Louis man who was injured after tripping inside the casino in 2013.

Plaintiff Richard Hawkins, 78 at the time of the fall, was exiting the south turnstiles when he hit his foot on the exposed edge of a floor tile bordering a carpeted area. Mr. Hawkins fell and landed face first, knocking out his permanent dental bridge, according to court documents.

“Initially, Richard thought he caught his foot on a hand sanitizer station that was next to the floor transition,” said the plaintiff’s attorney, Spencer Farris of The S.E. Farris Law Firm.

According to court documents, the fall was recorded on the casino’s video surveillance system. “After watching the video, it became clear that he stubbed his toe on the marble floor edge. When we went and examined the area, we could tell that the carpet was worn down. There was at least a quarter-inch gap between the carpet and tile,” said Farris, according to court records.

During the trial, it was alleged that the casino knew of another trip and fall situation that occurred prior to Mr. Hawkins’ injury. A woman testified that she fell near the south turnstiles in 2010 and reported to casino officials that the area was dangerous, according to court documents.

Representatives of the casino claimed that no one had ever fallen in that area, and that they have around-the-clock surveillance, according to court documents. “It turns out, the casino has 1,050 surveillance cameras but only 42 monitors showing the feeds, and, at most, four people watching the monitors at any time,” said Farris, according to court records. “They didn’t see Richard fall in real time and only saw the recorded video after the fact.”

According to court documents, the plaintiff’s dentist testified that it would cost from $13,000 to $23,000 to restore his permanent teeth. Hawkins previously attempted to negotiate a settlement of $25,000 to which the casino didn’t respond. On April 1, judgment was entered in favor of Hawkins for the amount of $40,000.

"This was a tough case in a challenging venue, but we're thankful that the jury agreed that our client was unnecessarily injured," said Farris. "A large portion of the casino's clientele are seniors who are at risk of fall injuries. We hope they finally address this hazard and prevent more folks from getting hurt."

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For more information, please reference case number: "13SL-CC03597 - RICHARD HAWKINS V PNK LLC," St. Louis County Court Building, Clayton, MO.

Spencer E. Farris is a Board-Certified Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Missouri-Kansas Super Lawyer since 2005, and has been selected as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Missouri by The National Trial Lawyers Association and the American Society of Legal Advocates.

Farris serves on the board of governors for the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys and is a member of The American Association for Justice. In 2014, Farris was nominated to the American Board of Trial Advocates—a national association of experienced lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation of the civil jury trial.

About The S.E. Farris Law Firm:
Located in St. Louis, Missouri, The S.E. Farris Law firm focuses is on the needs of injury victims, so clients benefit from: our decades of experience with the complexities of personal injury law, our expertise and solid track record preparing for, and presenting, in court, and our knowledge of the legal procedures and technicalities necessary to win cases.

For more information about Spencer Farris or The S.E. Farris Law Firm, visit https://www.farrislaw.net or call (314) 252-9937.

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Katrina Foster
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