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Charleen Markell's family sues after her death on an escalator

It was a terrible story from the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul last July -- a food service worker fell 20 feet from an escalator to her death. Now, the family of Charleen Markell is suing the auditorium for negligence and carelessness.

The escalator was clearly not supposed to be used -- the auditorium had set up a barricade at both the top and bottom, St. Paul police said at the time. But Markell must have been in a hurry to get up. She clambered over the bottom barricade and walked up it anyway.

When she got to the top, she tried to climb over the top barricade. But she lost her balance and fell through the three-foot gap between the elevator she was on and an elevator next to it.

An ambulance rushed Markell to Regions Hospital, but she died about an hour later.

Markell's family filed their lawsuit in Ramsey County Court, according to the Strib. The family is suing the auditorium and the Saint Paul Arena Company, which runs it.


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