Many Florida residents enjoy going to the movies. In order to enjoy the cinematic experience to its fullest, though, the lights must be out. There is minimal lighting, which makes it a challenge to leave or return to your seat while the movie is playing. A Virginia man is suing Regal Cinemas for the injuries he suffered after falling while returning to his seat.
The man was watching a movie at Harbour View Grande 16 theaters in Suffolk, Virginia, in July 2011. He had gone to the concession stand and when he returned, the lighting had been lowered for the previews. He returned to the aisle in the theater where his family was sitting. When he turned, he tripped, fell into the chairs and then onto the floor.
The man claims he suffered serious and painful injuries as a result. His earning capacity has decreased and he suffers from mental anguish due to the incident. He has filed a premises liability lawsuit in Suffolk Circuit Court, accusing Regal Cinemas of inadequate lighting and uneven flooring. The man is asking for $70,000 in damages, plus interest.
Regal Cinemas denies the allegations, claiming that it did nothing to breach a legal duty to its customers. A trial is set for February 2014.
Movie theaters are not known for the best lighting conditions. It can be difficult for a theater to create the best experience for moviegoers while maintaining optimal levels of lighting and safety. However, if the man’s claims about the uneven flooring are valid, then that is a problem that definitely should be investigated. It can hard enough to maneuver inside a theatre when the lights are dim. Add uneven flooring to the mix, and there is an unsafe situation.
Those injured in a theater or other business establishment may be able to seek compensation for financial, physical and emotional damages. The amount recoverable will depend on liability and the severity of the victim’s injuries.
Suffolk News Herald, “Lawsuit filed against theater chain for 2011 fall” Matthew Ward, Oct. 14, 2013