SCHENECTADY — A Corinth man is suing Rivers Casino & Resort, claiming poorly lit and configured ramps and stairs led him to fall out of his wheelchair and break two bones.
Raymond and Barbara Kirchhoff are seeking unspecified damages after Raymond was injured at the casino on May 19. The suit, filed in state Supreme Court on Wednesday morning in Saratoga County, names Rivers Casino & Resort, its parent company, Rush Street Gaming, and property owner Maxon Alco Holdings.
Raymond Kirchhoff visited the casino the afternoon of May 19 and was shown by staff to the casino’s high-limit area. That section features slots and table games with significantly higher minimum bets than those found on the main gaming floor. It is located near Duke’s Chophouse and is accessible via a ramp or two steps. The ramp is next to the stairs, separated by a wall.
After looking around and being given paperwork to join the casino’s rewards club and a voucher for a complimentary meal, Kirchhoff proceeded back toward the gaming floor, the lawsuit states.
He believed he was going down the ramp, but he began tumbling down the stairs and was thrown from his wheelchair, according to the lawsuit.
Kirchhoff has used a wheelchair for the past 34 years and has no feeling below his chest, the lawsuit states. As a result, he unknowingly suffered a broken femur and tibia in his right leg, according to the lawsuit.
He was taken to Glens Falls Hospital three days after the fall for treatment, where he “coded” twice, the lawsuit states. Coding typically refers to a cardiac event that requires emergency medical attention. Kirchhoff was eventually moved to the hospital’s intensive care unit.
He was discharged in June to Sunnyview Rehabilitation Center, where he remained until July 26. On Aug. 5, he was admitted to Saratoga Hospital, where he remains a patient, according to the lawsuit.
The claim alleges Kirchhoff’s injuries were directly caused by the negligence of the defendants and the dangerous conditions near the steps and ramp between the high-limit area and the gaming floor. Specifically, the lawsuit claims poor lighting, inadequate warning of an elevation change and poor orientation of the steps and ramp created the dangerous conditions.
The Kirchhoffs are represented by Saratoga Springs-based attorney John Coseo, who said the defendants likely have not received the complaint yet. He expected to have more information regarding the case in the next month. He is seeking certain documents and surveillance video of the incident, he said.
A spokesman for Rivers Casino & Resort they would not comment on pending litigation.
Kirchhoff’s wife, Barbara, is also a plaintiff in the suit, claiming she has been deprived of her husband’s “love, comfort, consortium, services and society."