Pennsylvania Record

Friday, July 12, 2019

Paralyzed man sues over fall from tree, says he wasn't told the tree was dangerous

State Court

By Carrie Bradon | Jul 2, 2019


PITTSBURGH — An Illinois man and his mother are suing a benefit society and an Enon Valley recreation center after he was allegedly paralyzed by a fall from a tree during a festival.

Luke Krisciunas and Karen Bushman filed a complaint June 20 in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas against SNPJ Recreation Center and Slovene National Benefit Society alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, Krisciunas in July 2017 attended the music festival Slovenefest, which was sponsored by the Slovene National Benefit Society and held at SNPJ Recreation Center in Enon Valley. The suit states Krisciunas' friend's brother suggested that the plaintiff climb a tree in order to see around the event and find certain attractions. The suit states the plaintiff did so and one of the tree branches broke, causing him to fall 15-20 feet onto an uplifted root.

The suit states the plaintiff was airlifted to the hospital and treated for a number of injuries, including fractures and paraplegia. The plaintiff alleges he has been told he will never walk again and has been confined to a wheelchair.

The plaintiffs allege the defendants failed to warn that the tree and/or branch was rotting and dangerous.

"Furthermore, there were many employees and members of SNPJ Recreation Center and Slovene National Benefit Society walking around while they were climbing the tree and no one ever told them to stop and/or get off the tree," the lawsuit says.

The plaintiffs are seeking a trial by jury, all reasonable sums due, attorney fees and court costs. They are represented by Jordan K. Merson of Merson Law PLLC in Philadelphia.

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