Woman impaled by beach umbrella sues Ocean City for negligence

The Associated Press
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OCEAN CITY, Md. — A woman who was impaled by a beach umbrella in Maryland three years ago has sued the town and umbrella business, claiming their negligence resulted in serious injuries.

Jill Mendygral, of Kingston, Pennsylvania, was lounging on the beach in Ocean City on her first day of vacation when an umbrella was swept up by gusts of wind and impaled her chest, according to the lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Rescuers cut off the end of the umbrella, leaving the tip in her chest until a Maryland State Police helicopter could transport her to a hospital.

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The Baltimore Sun reports that the lawsuit says Mendygral required surgery for the wound in her chest. To this day, she has back pain and pelvic pain, numbness in her right arm and hand, and a range of mental health conditions, among other ailments, the complaint alleges.

Her lawyer, Eric Lickstein, argues that none of her injuries or trauma would have occurred if not for the negligence of the Town of Ocean City or 85 ′n Sunny LLC, a company that rents umbrellas, beach chairs, boogie boards and more.

The complaint names Patrick McLaughlin, resident agent of the beach rental company, as well as Matt James, president of the Ocean City Town Council. McLaughlin declined to comment. A spokesperson for Ocean City did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

The complaint alleges that the business and the town allowed a hazardous and dangerous condition to persist by failing to warn people of the dangers of leaving an umbrella open in the wind and failing to inspect the beach while a wind advisory was in effect.

The lawsuit seeks more than $150,000.