Animas High School sued over injuries

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 4:22 PM

A Durango woman is suing Animas High School for unspecified damages as the result of a fall in the school parking lot 15 months ago.

Marina Muzzell alleges that on Nov. 8, 2012, at about 7 p.m., she and her husband, Douglas Ogilvy, parked at the school, then at 3206 Main Ave., to attend a theater performance at the adjoining Best Western Mountain Shadows Hotel.

Muzzell also names the Colorado Charter School Institute and SJMP, the landowner that rented to Animas High School, as defendants.

Ethan Hemming, executive director of the Colorado Charter School Institute, said Wednesday he hadn’t seen the lawsuit and that Animas High School Principal Jake Lauer said notification hadn’t reached him.

No one at Animas High School returned phone calls Tuesday or Wednesday seeking comment.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in La Plata County District Court. Paul E. Padilla, Muzzell’s attorney, said the notices were sent Tuesday because Monday was a holiday.

Animas High School, which last year moved to a site on U.S. Highway 160 west of Durango, had loaned its rented property on North Main for performance parking.

As she got out of her vehicle, Muzzell says, she stepped into an empty tree well 5 feet by 6 feet and 32 inches deep that protruded 30 inches into the parking lot.

She suffered a broken nose, blunt force trauma to her torso, bruises, a deviated septum, displaced teeth, lacerations and whiplash, Muzzell says. She required reconstructive surgery and ongoing medical care, and will require medical attention in the future, she says.

Muzzell wants a jury trial to determine damages, costs and attorney fees.