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Ohio couple injured by drunk fans suing Bengals

CINCINNATI -- A woman says two increasingly intoxicated fans at a Cincinnati Bengals game fell on her, breaking her nose and finger and causing other injuries.

The woman and her husband are suing the Bengals, the beer vendor and the county-owned football stadium for negligence, alleging they continued to serve alcohol to "noticeably intoxicated" fans at a 2009 NFL game.

Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said Tuesday the team wouldn't comment on pending litigation. Neither would the stadium vendor, Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., a company spokeswoman said. Hamilton County officials didn't immediately return an after-hours phone call Tuesday seeking comment.

Rebecca Dunn and her husband, Curtis Dunn, of Owensboro, Ky., say the two men sitting behind them were served several drinks at Paul Brown Stadium before they fell on her, breaking and gashing her nose, breaking her finger, and causing bruises, sprains and other injuries. Their lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages for past and future pain and suffering and medical treatment that they say has cost $20,000 so far.

The couple also are suing the fans, identified only as John Doe and John Doe II. The lawsuit accuses them of battery.

The lawsuit states: "As a direct and proximate result of their intoxication, (the two men) lost control and fell on (Rebecca Dunn), causing 'catastrophic injuries' that required nose surgery and continuing orthopedic and other medical treatment. The incident also broke her $700 Oakley sunglasses and caused the couple to incur other expenses" -- they had to spend the night in a downtown hotel because the stadium garage closed after the game before they could retrieve their car.

The Dunns also are seeking punitive damages. A court hearing on the lawsuit, filed Nov. 29, is scheduled for next month.

The Bengals and other NFL teams have tried to control unruly fans through such efforts as the Bengals' "Jerk" line, which fans can call during the game to report bad behavior.

A lawsuit is pending in New York state court against the Mets baseball team and other defendants, filed by a woman who was hospitalized with spinal injuries after a fan her attorney says was drunk landed on her in 2007.

The attorney, Joshua D. Kelner, said Tuesday that although the lawsuits will be decided under respective state law, teams generally have an obligation to provide crowd control and that alcohol providers may be held partially responsible for the actions of intoxicated people.

The Bengals scored a 23-20 comeback victory over the Steelers in the Sept. 27, 2009, game.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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