Woman's fall on Kemah boardwalk leads to wrongful death suit by spouse

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Oct. 22, 2008, 2:36pm

GALVESTON – An injury sustained during a visit to a popular waterfront entertainment venue more than six months ago reportedly caused a Jefferson County woman to perish on Mother's Day, recent court documents say.

The husband of 73-year-old Juanita Saldana of Nederland says the Kemah Boardwalk was aware of an unmarked and uneven slab of sidewalk on its property which made his spouse lose her balance and fall face first on March 6, 2008.

Louis Saldana is suing the Kemah Boardwalk for Juanita Saldana's death from a subdural hematoma before Galveston County District Court on Oct. 21.

According to the original petition, Juanita Saldana went to the Kemah Boardwalk with the Extension Education Association of Jefferson County, when she got caught along a supposedly defective pathway moments after her arrival.

"Juanita Saldana tripped and fell forward striking the ground with her head and face as a result a sidewalk which defendants have and had sole control over," it states.

Juanita Saldana's alleged injury required an emergency operation. She would stay in the intensive care unit "for a little more than two months and pass away on Mother's Day, May 11, 2008," the suit states.

The suit argues the sidewalk's apparently bad shape created a dangerous condition at the Kemah Boardwalk of which the defendants' associates bore knowledge.

"Plaintiff Louis Saldana has been deprived of the advice, counsel, services, care, maintenance, and support which Juanita Saldana afforded him and would have continued to afford him had she not died," the suit says.

The estate of Juanita Saldana is seeking damages including but not limited to medical, funeral and burial expenses.

Beaumont attorney Jessica L. Hallmark is representing the plaintiff.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 56th District Court Judge David Garner.

Case No. 08CV1059

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