Lawsuit Claims Outdoor Fireplace Explosion That Injured Lindenhurst Woman Due to Failure to Adequately Inspect, Maintain, and Repair

Anastasia's Aerial View (IMAGERY ©2021 Google, Imagery ©2021 Maxar Technologies, U.S. Geological Survey, Map data ©2021 Google)
Anastasia’s Aerial View (IMAGERY ©2021 Google, Imagery ©2021 Maxar Technologies, U.S. Geological Survey, Map data ©2021 Google).

The Illinois law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard announced on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 that the firm has filed a lawsuit against Antioch restaurant Anastasia’s Restaurant & Sports Lounge on behalf of a Lake County woman seated in an outdoor dining area at the restaurant who was injured when an outdoor fireplace at Anastasia’s exploded.

LaVerne and Charles Burress of Lindenhurst went to dinner at Anastasia’s Restaurant & Sports Lounge, 950 Hillside Avenue, Antioch, Illinois on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. The couple decided to take advantage of the nice weather and decrease their risk of exposure to COVID-19, while dining at the restaurant’s outdoor patio, according to Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard.

Around 7:04 p.m. Wednesday evening, an outdoor fireplace on the restaurant’s patio exploded. Mrs. Burress, who was seated near the faulty fireplace, suffered a severe and painful foot and heel injury, specifically to her Achilles tendon, requiring surgery. The entire incident was captured on video.

An investigation revealed the explosion occurred as the result of a crack in the connection between the flex hose and the gas pipe in the north tower of the outdoor fireplace. Bricks, brick wall sections, stone, concrete blocks, and other debris fragments flew out from the center of the explosion, and also damaged at least one vehicle in the parking lot.

Anastasia's restaurant explosion in Antioch (SOURCE: Law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard)
Anastasia’s restaurant explosion in Antioch (SOURCE: Law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard).

A lawsuit, filed Monday, April 19, 2021 in Lake County Circuit Court against Anastasia’s Restaurant, claims the establishment failed to adequately inspect, maintain, and repair the outdoor fireplace, causing an unreasonable risk of harm.

“LaVerne and Charles have a daughter getting married in October, and instead of enjoying this special time and accompanying her daughter to venue and dress appointments, LaVerne is in excruciating pain. She is often not able to perform everyday activities due to the swelling and pain of her injury. We hope this lawsuit will bring LaVerne the monetary means she needs to recover and heal. But we also hope this makes restaurants aware of the important duty they have to keep their patrons safe this upcoming patio season.”

— Plaintiff’s attorney John A. Mennie

Anastasia’s Restaurant-Sports Lounge & Banquet is a busy casual dining, delivery and carryout location near the intersection of Route 59 and Route 173.

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