Woman Awarded Nearly $3 Million in Damages After Fall at Houston’s Downtown Aquarium

HOUSTON, TX – A San Antonio-area woman has been awarded nearly $3 million in damages by a Harris County jury after she sued Landry’s Inc. following an injury at Houston’s Downtown Aquarium. Glenda Lammert, who already had a disability, suffered multiple fractures in her left ankle after falling into a trench near a replica rowboat in a dark and crowded hallway at the aquarium in March 2018. The lawsuit, filed the following year, claims that Lammert continues to struggle with the injury and has experienced severe depression due to the resulting reduction in her quality of life.

According to court records, 10 out of 12 jurors determined that the aquarium was negligent in creating a dangerous condition, resulting in the award of $2.825 million in damages to Lammert. The Downtown Aquarium, located at 410 Bagby St., is operated by Landry’s, the Houston-based entertainment and hospitality conglomerate founded by Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta. In response to the verdict, the company’s litigation counsel, Stephen Hebert, stated that Landry’s plans to appeal the “excessive” award.

Originally seeking monetary damages between $250,000 and $1 million, Lammert’s lawsuit acknowledged that the final amount would be determined by the jury. In the case, it was discovered that previous guests had also been injured in relation to the trench in the hallway, leading the aquarium to admit fault. Lammert’s attorneys, Joshua Davis, highlighted this admission from the aquarium and emphasized that Landry’s tried to take responsibility for the incident.

In addition to physical pain sustained in the past, the jury awarded Lammert $1.5 million for physical pain she will likely experience in the future. She was also granted $250,000 for past mental anguish and $125,000 for probable future mental anguish. The damages awarded for disfigurement, both in the past and probable future, amounted to $100,000 each. Furthermore, Lammert received $100,000 for past physical impairment and probable future physical impairment.

Hebert expressed disappointment in the jury’s decision and believed that they were unable to properly review important evidence, ultimately influencing the outcome. He stated that Landry’s planned to appeal the ruling, anticipating a different outcome in the appellate court.

The verdict brings attention to the safety concerns at the Downtown Aquarium and raises questions regarding negligence in creating a dangerous environment. The case may prompt Landry’s and other similar establishments to reevaluate their premises’ safety measures to prevent further incidents and potential lawsuits.