The professor is suing a Colorado university, as well as its law school, because she injured herself while giving a speech as she being honored with a distinguished lecturer award. The woman stood on a raised platform to give her speech; a podium was in front of her. At one point during the speech, the professor took a step back in order to set a glass of water onto the podium’s shelf.

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However, in doing so, she fell backwards off the platform and hurt her foot. Though she continued with her speech, she was in pain because of her injury, which turned out to be a broken heel. The professor says in her suit — in which she requests damages of $100,000 — that the law school failed to anticipate her movements as she spoke, giving her too little room and thus causing her to fall and injure herself.

At first blush, it might seem that $100,000 would be an excessive award for such an injury. However, the professor often travels for work and has had to pay for additional leg room out of her own pocket due to her injury. She also has to cover a lot of ground in her job as a law school professor, constantly going up and down stairs on campus; this, too has been made more inconvenient. This story demonstrates how an injury due to unsafe conditions can have not just an immediate effect but also lasting consequences for the person who is injured.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Honoree Sues Law School for Podium Tumble,” Sam Reynolds, Feb. 27, 2013

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