- Associated Press - Saturday, June 4, 2016

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - A Cape Girardeau woman has filed a lawsuit claiming she was seriously injured when she fell down stairs in a historic building.

Pamela Allen claims in the lawsuit filed in Cape Girardeau County earlier this year that she suffered severe injuries, including a fracture of her left leg, when she fell down stairs leading to the basement of the historic Common Pleas Courthouse in Cape Girardeau in 2013. The lawsuit has since been moved to Stoddard County on a change of venue.

The lawsuit alleges the stairs leading to the so-called “dungeon” were “physically defective in that they are narrower and steeper than modern building standards, uneven and slickened with paint.”

The lawsuit claims Allen suffered “life threatening blood clots in her lungs” and was hospitalized in intensive care for a time, The Southeast Missourian reported (https://j.mp/1t6nyXi).

County officials contend the county government has sovereign immunity from “any and all allegations” in this case, and the woman may have been at fault. In its response to the lawsuit, the county said it does not have “exclusive possession or control” of the courthouse in downtown Cape Girardeau.

The city actually owns the building, although building repairs have been handled by the county. The circuit court system is part of state government.

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Information from: Southeast Missourian, https://www.semissourian.com

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