San Antonio Woman Awarded Nearly $3 Million in Lawsuit Against Houston’s Downtown Aquarium

Houston, Texas – A San Antonio-area woman has been awarded nearly $3 million in damages by a Harris County jury after she sued Landry’s Inc., the owner and operator of Houston’s Downtown Aquarium. Glenda Lammert filed the lawsuit after she fell and was injured during a visit to the aquarium with her granddaughter.

Lammert, who already had a disability, suffered multiple fractures in her left ankle and required surgery after stepping into a trench next to a replica rowboat and falling in a dark and crowded hallway at the aquarium on March 12, 2018. The lawsuit, filed the following year, claims that she continued to suffer from the injury and experienced severe depression due to the drastic reduction in her quality of life.

In a non-unanimous verdict, 10 out of 12 jurors found the aquarium negligent in creating a dangerous condition. As a result, they awarded Lammert a total of $2.825 million in damages, according to court records. The Downtown Aquarium, located at 410 Bagby St., is owned and operated by Landry’s, which is a Houston-based entertainment and hospitality conglomerate founded by Tilman Fertitta, the owner of the Houston Rockets.

Stephen Hebert, Landry’s in-house litigation counsel, stated that the company plans to appeal the jury’s award, which he believes is excessive. Lammert initially sought monetary damages between $250,000 and $1 million in her lawsuit. The aquarium admitted fault once Lammert’s attorneys discovered previous guest injuries related to the trench in the hallway.

Hebert acknowledged that Lammert broke her ankle at the Downtown Aquarium and stated that they had tried to accept responsibility. However, he expressed disagreement over the valuation of the case, pointing out that Lammert’s past medical expenses amounted to $13,000. Hebert believes that the jury was unable to review important evidence, contributing to the adverse outcome, and anticipates a different outcome from the appellate court.

Court records reveal that the jury awarded Lammert $1.5 million for past physical pain, $500,000 for future physical pain, and $250,000 for past and future mental anguish. Additionally, she received $100,000 each for past and future disfigurement and past and future physical impairment.

Overall, the jury’s decision highlights the significance of maintaining the safety and security of visitors at public venues like the Downtown Aquarium.