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Mich. woman sues over toilet paper dispenser

December 7, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Michigan's Supreme Court is allowing a woman who says the cover of a toilet paper dispenser fell on her right hand and broke it to sue a restaurant over her injury. Sheri Schooley claims three years after her injury, she still can't work and her bowling game has suffered. She said she had to quit her job as an administrative assistant because she couldn't type.

Schooley and her husband went to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse in suburban Detroit on New Year's Eve in 2007. She said when she went to the restroom the cover of the toilet paper dispenser fell down and bruised her hand.

Schooley said her husband had to cut her steak for the rest of their dinner because the pain didn't fade.

A Wayne County judge and the state appeals court refused the restaurant's request to dismiss the lawsuit.

There is no evidence that restaurant employees inspected "toilet paper dispensers to see if they were closed," Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly wrote.

"It is not for this court but rather for a jury to decide if the dispenser that harmed her constituted a dangerous condition," she said.

Restaurant lawyer Scott Feuer was disappointed with the decision.

He said, "If the court is going to find something as innocuous as a toilet paper dispenser as a dangerous condition, then what wouldn't be?"

Schooley said she still bowls but was forced to switch to her left hand.

"My average used to be 140. Now it's 95 to 100," she said. "Quite a drop."

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.