Former Congresswoman's Slip and Fall Lawsuit Against Country Club Heads to Trial
Former Texas Congresswoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs’ slip and fall lawsuit against Bay Oaks County Club is set to go to trial on September 21st. Dr. Sekula-Gibbs is a physician, and former Houston City Councilman, who represented Texas’ 22nd Congressional District from November 2006 until January 2007.
In June 2013, Dr. Sekula-Gibbs, and her husband Robert W. Gibbs, Jr., filed suit following an incident in the club’s dressing room. The doctor alleges that, as she was approaching a sink, she slipped and fell, injuring her neck, back and elbows. As she was lying on the floor she realized the floor was slippery and wet from being mopped. She alleges there were no signs warning her of the danger of the allegedly slippery floor. She claims that, as a result of the fall, she was seriously injured and had to undergo a discectomy and fusion of her cervical spine. She also claims to have sustained a fracture in the sacral area of her spine. She sues for her medical bills, mental anguish, pain and suffering, lost wages, impairment and disfigurement.
Her husband claims to have suffered mental anguish, loss of consortium and household services. The petition states that the couple seeks damages of over $1,000,000.
Bay Oaks has answered, denying the allegations and claiming that the doctor’s “own negligent and/or intentional acts were the sole …” cause of the damages she is claiming. Expert reports filed by the club suggest that the doctor received only mild injuries in the accident, and is an “enormous consumer of medical care”.
While running for reelection in 2008, Dr. Sekula-Gibbs was a proponent of tort reform, and was quoted in the Houston Chronicle as stating that she was aware of “the problems caused by frivolous lawsuits and oppressive regulations”.