Senior Citizen Settles For $1 Million After Hotel Fall
Norma Linke v. Heritage New London LLC et al.: A woman from St. Louis who shattered her elbow after falling in the lobby of a New London Holiday Inn has settled her lawsuit against the hotel ownership for $1 million.
Norma Linke, 77, was on a senior citizen sightseeing bus tour that stopped in Connecticut to check out Mystic. The group planned to spend a night in the New London area before continuing to another destination. On October 3, 2010, at around dinner time, Linke was checking into the Holiday Inn on North Frontage Road in New London when she tripped on some bunched up carpeting in the lobby.
According to Linke's lawyer, Joseph M. Barnes, of The Reardon Law Firm in New London, Linke, who had previously had knee replacement surgery on both knees, fell with all her weight onto her left arm. "[The elbow] was so broken; one of the doctors described the initial fracture as an asteroid field. The elbow was just shattered," said Barnes. "It was a very complicated break."
Linke was taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital. She spent the night there and boarded a plane back to St. Louis the next day. The bus tour continued on without Linke.
Barnes said Linke was further treated by doctors in St. Louis. In total, she ended up needing five surgeries.
During the first one, said Barnes, metal plates and screws were implanted to hold the elbow together. However, the fracture did not heal right. The doctors went back in, removed the hardware, re-broke the elbow, and then put the hardware back in to hold the elbow in place.
This time, Linke developed an infection. Treating it required yet another procedure that involved removing the hardware in September 2011. Linke then had to take medications to treat the infection.
Barnes said his client went 10 months with no functioning left elbow and her arm in a sling. Fortunately, Linke was right-handed.
Barnes said doctors described her condition using terms such as "flopping elbow or chicken wing."
"Other than tendons and skin, the brace was the only thing keeping it stable," said Barnes.