TAMPA — A Pinellas County man is suing the United States, alleging its negligence caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries at a local Veterans Administration facility. 

Richard Chaves of Bay Pines filed a lawsuit Nov. 3 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Tampa Division against the United States of America, alleging it failed to exercise reasonable care and caution for the safety of its guests.

According to the complaint, on May 14, 2014, Chaves was lawfully visiting Bay Pines VA Medical Center in Pinellas County for a scheduled medical appointment when he he slipped and fell on landscaping rocks scattered throughout the parking lot. The lawsuit states the rocks were not readily observable to Chaves because of their similar appearance to the parking lot surface.

The lawsuit states the fall caused Chaves to suffer disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, medical expenses, loss of earnings and losing the ability to earn money. 

The plaintiff alleges the U.S. failed to warn plaintiff of the dangers posed by the landscaping rocks, and failed to properly inspect and maintain the parking lot for tripping hazards.

Chaves seeks trial by jury, damages of more than $75,000, plus costs of suit and all other relief the court deems just. He is represented by attorney Paul R. Canovis of DeLoach & Hofstra PA in Seminole.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Tampa Division Case number 16-cv-03098

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U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Tampa Division
801 North Florida Avenue
Tampa, FL 33602

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