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Aqua Jays' insurance company sued over fall

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Mike DuPre'
May 16, 2008
— It had to be frightening.

Bradley J. Springbrum of Janesville fell down an elevator shaft in October while carting soda around a warehouse used by Janesville’s Rock Aqua Jays water-ski club as Fright Factory, the club’s fund-raising haunted house.


Springbrum and his wife, Jennifer, have filed suit against General Casualty Insurance Co. of Wisconsin, which covers some of the Aqua Jays’ events.


The lawsuit does not name the Aqua Jays as a defendant, but it does allege negligence on the club’s part.


Lynn Gustafson, attorney for the Aqua Jays, declined comment on the lawsuit Wednesday.


The suit seeks compensatory damages in an amount to be determined, reimbursement of the plaintiffs’ legal costs and fees and for “such other relief as the court deems just and equitable.”


Immediately after the accident, Aqua Jays President Joel Shapiro said Springbrum suffered a dislocated elbow and broken forearm.


On Oct. 13, Springbrum was using a two-wheeled dolly to move soda from one floor of the warehouse to another. The elevator he wanted to use was equipped with a light that only could be turned on from inside the elevator car, according to the suit.


“When Springbrum opened the elevator doors, the elevator cab was not there, but Springbrum could not see that the elevator cab was missing because the immediate and surrounding area was inadequately lit,” the suit alleges.


Unaware the elevator car wasn’t there, Springbrum stepped into what he thought was the car to turn on the light, but he fell down the elevator shaft.


The Aqua Jays leased the warehouse from Hendricks Development Group, according to the suit. The club was negligent by failing to ensure the elevator area was properly lighted and by failing to give Springbrum adequate warning the elevator car was absent, the suit contends.



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