In a recent ruling by a Harris County jury, the Houston Downtown Aquarium, owned by Landry’s, has been directed to pay a Texas woman, Glenda Lammert, close to $3 million for injuries sustained during her visit to the entertainment complex. The incident occurred on March 12, 2018, when Lammert, aged 76, suffered a severe ankle injury in a dark section of the Aquarium, getting her ankle caught in a trench next to a rowboat.
Describing the break as “fairly horrific,” Lammert’s attorney, Joshua Davis, highlighted the ongoing consequences of the injury, which prompted the filing of a lawsuit against Landry’s in the 11th District Court.
The jury, consisting of ten members, reached a non-unanimous decision on January 24, awarding Lammert $2.825 million, as recorded in Harris County court documents. Landry’s, responding to the verdict, deemed the award “excessive” and expressed their intent to appeal the ruling.
In a statement, Landry’s in-house litigation counsel, Stephen Hebert, stated, “The parties simply had a disagreement as to case valuation, as Ms. Lammert’s past medical expenses were $13,000. Unfortunately, the jury issued an astonishing and excessive award. We believe the jury was precluded from reviewing important evidence and this contributed to an adverse outcome. Naturally, we will appeal this ruling and anticipate a different outcome from the appellate court.”
Glenda Lammert, appreciative of the jury’s efforts in evaluating the evidence, remains grateful for their service. The verdict is anticipated to make a significant impact on her life, according to Davis. The lawsuit, initially filed in April 2019, proceeded to trial after attempts to reach a settlement failed.
Davis, working alongside Charles Riley, emphasized Riley’s efforts in compiling evidence that led to the Downtown Aquarium stipulating liability, streamlining the case to focus on damages. Riley’s research also uncovered prior incidents and notifications of injuries in the trench area, which allegedly did not prompt any changes before Lammert’s accident.
“We tried to do the right thing and accept responsibility,” added Hebert. “Unfortunately, the jury issued an astonishing and excessive award. We believe the jury was precluded from reviewing important evidence and this contributed to an adverse outcome. Naturally, we will appeal this ruling and anticipate a different outcome from the appellate court.”