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Bath woman wins $60K in injury lawsuit against bank

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Bath woman wins $60K in injury lawsuit against bank

BATH — Nearly four years after being injured in a fall outside a downtown bank, June Hallowell of Bath was awarded $60,000 by a Sagadahoc County Superior Court jury Nov. 19.

The 80-year-old woman's award money was for medical bills and pain and suffering resulting from the fall, according to a press release from Hallowell's attorneys.

Julian Sweet of Berman & Simmons was the primary attorney representing Hallowell in the civil case, while Bill Druary of Marden, Dubord, Bernier & Stevens defended KeyBank, according to Susan Faunce, an attorney at Berman & Simmons who also worked on Hallowell's case.

Staff at KeyBank this week said they were unable to discuss the case. A spokeswoman for Druary said on Wednesday that he was not making any comment on the decision.

The release from Berman & Simmons said Keybank argued in the two-day trial it was not responsible for Hallowell's fall.

Hallowell fell while trying to cross on an icy walkway maintained by KeyBank on Dec. 28, 2005. The bank at 40 Front St. has an upper parking lot with stairs behind the bank leading down to an extended walkway by a lower level lot. Hallowell descended the stairs and was walking along the walkway when she fell face-first, Faunce said.

The fall pushed Hallowell's tooth through her top lip, and she fractured her left wrist.

"I don't know what kept me from breaking my glasses or my dentures," Hallowell said on Monday.

That's when the tale takes on a storybook feel.

While Hallowell was on the ground, Laurie Lugenbeal was outside her Centre Street business, Medical Home Care Services, with her year-old sheltie, Dallie. The dog began growling and pulling Lugenbeal in Hallowell's direction. Lugenbeal, not knowing Hallowell was laying nearby, kept telling Dallie that they had to go back inside, but the dog remained persistent and led Lugenbeal to Hallowell, who was moaning.

"I don't know if that's what attracted the dog, if she heard me," Hallowell recalled, "... but bless her heart ... I've said a couple times I don't know what would have happened if the dog hadn't found me, because it was really cold that day."

Lugenbeal told her to stay put and that she would get help, Hallowell said. When Lugenbeal tried to pull Dallie away the dog wouldn't budge until she was able to go over to Hallowell and smell her. After getting help Lugenbeal returned to Hallowell's side, and an ambulance was on the scene within about 10 minutes.

Hallowell was taken to a hospital and released the next day. Meanwhile, Dallie remained agitated, causing her owner to locate Hallowell and bring the sheltie by her home.

"That dog was just so happy to see me," Hallowell said. "... And (Lugenbeal) said, after she took (Dallie) home, she settled down."

Every so often when she's downtown, Hallowell will stop into Lugenbeal's store to visit the dog she refers to as "a little hero."

"She comes wagging, you know, her whole body just wiggling all over," Hallowell said. "She still remembers me."

Faunce said Hallowell incurred about $21,000 in medical bills.

"Even if we hadn't won the case, if it just keeps ... whoever it was that sanded ... more alert and (making) sure that that's well taken care of, then it would be worth it," Hallowell said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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