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Man awarded $1.5M in suit against VictoryLand
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The Montgomery Advertiser
TUSKEGEE -- A Macon County jury has awarded a Clanton man $1.5 million for injuries he sustained at the VictoryLand Greyhound Park, according a lawyer representing the plaintiff.
Ronnie Lawrence sued Macon County Greyhound Park Inc., for injuries he sustained in a fall Feb. 3, 2003, alleging that leaking bathroom fixtures caused water to accumulate on the floor.
VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor declined to respond citing his policy of not commenting on lawsuits.
Lawrence claimed that as he entered the bathroom, he slipped and fell, causing multiple spinal cord injuries, according to a statement released by Jock Smith, founding partner of the Cochran Firm. During the trial, Lawrence offered testimony from his neurosurgeon, Dr. Tom Staner of Birmingham, that his injuries were permanent and irreversible.
Smith said in the statement that testimony from frequent VictoryLand visitors revealed a pattern of failing to perform basic maintenance to the racetrack's facilities. Several witnesses testified that the bathroom fixtures had been leaking water for years and their complaints to management went unanswered.
Smith, Brian Strength, and Champ Lyons represented Lawrence in the trial, which ended Thursday.
Fred Gray and Stanley Gray of the Gray Law Firm in Tuskegee represented Macon County Greyhound Park.
"Finally, the citizens of Macon County stood up and sent a message to VictoryLand that doing business in our county is a privilege, not an absolute right, and that the way Victoryland has historically done business and treated the citizens of Macon County will no longer be tolerated," Smith said in the statement.
The jury awarded $1 million to Lawrence for compensatory damages, including permanent injuries, and $500,000 in punitive damages, according to the release.
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