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Woman seeks $180,000 from apartments over injury, unlawful termination

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Apr 28, 2010

GALVESTON - After finding the source of a leak in an empty apartment, a Galveston County woman claims she slipped and fell on the wet floor and is now seeking more than $180,000 from the owner of the complex.

In addition to being injured, Elizabeth Starkey claims she was wrongfully terminated after she reported the incident to the apartment management.

According to the suit filed April 2 in Galveston County District Court, Elizabeth Starkey claims she was called on Feb. 11, 2009, to investigate the source of a water leak in a unit on the third floor of the William B. Travis Apartments.

The unit lacked electricity so Starkey used a flashlight to locate the leak's starting point, the suit states.

The plaintiff states she identified the refrigerator as the source of the leak, and placed the end of the refrigerator's copper tubing in the sink so the water would not continue to leak onto the floor.

After completing the task, Starkey was about to leave the apartment when she slipped on the wet kitchen floor, the suit says.

She argues the fall exacerbated an L-4 laminectomy performed in 2006.

The plaintiff alleges that she verbally reported her injury and sought medical attention from the owner of the William B. Travis Apartments, who happened to be a physician.

The defendant fired Starkey shortly afterwards for not providing written medical reports pertaining to her fall to the management, the complaint claims.

Attorney Carlos Garza of Texas City is representing Starkey.

Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.

Case No. 10-cv-1113

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