SANTA FE, N.M. — An elderly Santa Fe couple has sued the Bishop’s Lodge Ranch, Resort and Spa, saying they were both injured when they fell down a steep hill at the resort after they were “abandoned” by employees.
Erlinda and Freddie Herrera, both age 75 at the time of the incident, say in the state District Court lawsuit that they were trying to get to a wedding at Bishop’s Lodge north of town in May 2011 when they fell.
Erlinda Herrera suffered injuries including a broken femur shaft, underwent surgery, was in the hospital for about 13 days and continues with physical therapy and pain medication, the suit states. Freddie Herrera also was injured and still has back and hand pain that prevents him from performing certain tasks, according to the lawsuit.
The manager at Bishop’s Lodge had no comment Thursday afternoon.
According to the suit, the Herreras arrived for the wedding but didn’t know where it was at the resort. A Bishop’s Lodge employee they encountered directed them to follow him on foot up the steep hill where he thought the wedding was. The Herreras “expressed concern about walking up the hill” and asked if they could use a golf cart, the suit says, but they didn’t get one.
The hill was “steep, lacked handrails and was covered with loose gravel and sand,” the suit states.
As they were climbing the hill, a van driven by another employee came by and the driver said the wedding was actually at the bottom of the hill. The driver drove away and did not offer to drive the Herreras to the event. At this point, the couple noticed that he first employee who had offered to accompany them up the hill “was nowhere to be found,” the Herreras maintain.
“Confused,” they linked arms and started walking downhill toward where the van driver had directed them.
After a few steps, Erlinda Herrera “fell and rolled six or seven times down the hill” and Freddie Herrera also fell and rolled to the other side of the road, the lawsuit states.
The suit, filed Tuesday for the Herreras by Santa Fe attorney Katherine Ferlic, seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.