Princeton Alum Awarded $350,000 For Tragic Fall




Princeton Alum Awarded $350,000 For Tragic Fall

A Princeton University alumnus has been awarded $350,000 for her injuries suffered when she fell from the university’s chapel bell tower on December 13, 2001. The settlement was reached with two contractors named in the lawsuit responsible for the construction that the bell was undergoing at the time of the accident.

Alexandra Shaw, now age 25, reportedly took her roommate to the top of the bell tower on the night of the fall, to show her the view. Shaw allegedly fell through an open grate inside of the tower and dropped 40 feet before landing on a metal grate near the top of the tower.

According to Gerald Stockman, Shaw’s attorney, the plaintiff suffered serious injuries including a concussion and a broken ankle.

Although Shaw initially named Princeton University in the lawsuit as well, the school was dropped as a defendant leaving only Masonry Preservation Group Inc. and Femenella & Associates Inc, two New Jersey contracting groups.

Michael O’Mara, a representative for Masonry Preservation said that he thought the settlement was fair.

“The young lady fell and she was rather seriously injured,” O’Mara commented. He also added however that the location of the accident was off limits to the public and “a person of common sense would not have entered. It looked like the bowels of the earth.”

Both defendants did not believe that they were responsible for the condition leading to the fall; however, the settlement was reached as a safeguard in the event that a jury would find otherwise.

Intoxication was not ruled out as a contributing factor to the accident. Shaw claimed that she had 1 ½ beers early in the evening but was not by any means intoxicated. Though police reports noted suspected alcohol involvement, ultimately the evidence was not used in the case.

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