Woman sues PSU over loose moose head

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A Fayette County woman has sued Penn State University almost two years after a moose head mounted in a classroom crashed down on her, leaving her with chronic headaches.

Amy Walters, 22, of Uniontown, who was enrolled at Penn State's Fayette County campus, alleged in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Fayette County Common Pleas Court that the stuffed moose head struck her as she was taking an exam in February 2005.

On Feb. 3, Ms. Walters was scheduled to take a biology exam in the Bio-Medical Technology Building. Portions of the exam process required students to view specimens through microscopes positioned in different parts of the room.

The exam room, room 105, had several wild game heads displayed and mounted on the walls. As she moved to one particular microscope -- underneath a large stuffed moose head with antlers -- Ms. Walters felt a large object strike her as she bent over to peer into the device. The force of the impact caused her to fall into a chair that was behind her. She noticed that the moose head had fallen off the wall and struck her in the right temple before coming to rest in her lap.

The lawsuit says Ms. Walters felt immediate pain from the blow and that she saw "spots." Ms. Walters then took a moment to recover and continued with the exam.

After she went home, Ms. Walters suffered sharp and persistent pain in her head and felt sick to her stomach. She went to the emergency room of Uniontown Hospital that night complaining of nausea and headache.

Contacted at her home last night, Ms. Walters said she suffers chronic headaches to this day. She referred further questions to her lawyers, who could not be reached last night.

Her lawyers allege in the suit that the university was "careless, reckless and negligent" in not making sure that the moose head was properly affixed to the wall before students were required to be in the room. They also allege that proper inspections could have prevented the accident.

She seeks to recover damages for past medical bills, past and future loss of enjoyment of life, past and future pain and suffering, past and future inconvenience, embarrassment and humiliation.

Moustafa Ayad can be reached at mayad@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1731.


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