Library Stairs 2

A student descends the stairs outside the Armacost Library. This is near where Cassidy Tibbetts allegedly fell. Photo by Nick Danlag

An Eckerd junior is suing the college for damages allegedly caused by poor lighting and a lack of warnings near the library, according to a lawsuit filed by her lawyer, Christian Denmon. The complaint was filed in late October 2019 in the Pinellas Circuit Court.

While enrolled at Eckerd, Cassidy Tibbetts says she exited the Armacost Library at night and fell down the stairs. 

“The artificial lighting was poor and insufficient,” the complaint said. “The stairs lacked railings or other support for safety. The stairs height and design were unsafe. As a result... the student tripped, fell, and suffered serious injury.”

The student and her lawyer also allege that Eckerd kept unsafe conditions at that entrance and did not take any action to prevent injuries to students using said staircase at night. She also states in the complaint that the college should have known about and had enough time to fix the safety risk.

In response, Eckerd denied all claims against it. The college’s statement claims that the student was guilty of negligence, and the lack of care caused any damages she suffered. According to the college’s defense, the stairs posed no danger, and if they did, the college did not have enough time to fix the alleged safety issue.

According to the defenses Eckerd filed in late November, the student’s alleged injuries and damages were caused by preexisting conditions, and therefore the college is not liable for them.

Eckerd’s attorneys, Roland Hermida II and Garrett Brown, Tibbetts and her attorney, Christian Denmon, have not yet responded to a request for comment.



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