Scalded in Dormitory Evacuation Mayhem

     (CN) – A college freshman suffered horrific burns to her feet when the University of New Hampshire evacuated her dorm because of a burst pipe, she claims in court.
     Mistaking thick steam for smoke, Morgan Bailey, of Boscawen, N.H., says she thought the building was on fire, as the alarms rang on April 6, 2013, and she fled her Hunter Hall dorm room with nothing but stockings on her feet.
     “At no time during the evacuation did the plaintiff comprehend that she was running through scalding hot water in her stocking feet,” the complaint in Merrimack County Superior Court states.
     “Only after the plaintiff vacated the building did she lay on the ground screaming in excruciating pain with severe burning to her feet and her ankles until she passed out.
     “When she came to, plaintiff continued to scream in unbearable pain, as she observed that the skin on her feet was yellow in color and that bright pink flesh was melting and falling off her feet.”
     There had been no fire. Bailey says a corroded pipe that the Durham school should have replaced years earlier had simply burst.
     A school spokeswoman said UNH is aware of the lawsuit.
     “We were deeply saddened by the accident and its lasting impact on members of our campus community,” spokeswoman Erika Mantz said in an email. “We have taken steps to prevent similar tragedies from occurring and remain vigilant in inspecting buried services. Because negotiations are ongoing and this is active litigation we cannot comment further.”
     Bailey filed the suit on April 5 with her parents, a couple who got the fright of their lives when a friend of their daughter’s called them up and told them to go to the hospital.
     “During the conversation, plaintiff parents heard their daughter crying out in agony and screaming in horrific pain,” the complaint states.
     Bailey says she suffered second- and third-degree burns on her feet and ankles. She has undergone 13 surgical procedures, including skin grafts and debridement of the burn areas.
     In addition to the university, the Bailey family’s lawsuit takes aim at two maintenance contractors, R.H. White Construction and GCA Services Group, plus three individual GCA employees.
     The Baileys seek damages for negligence, breach of contract and emotional distress.
     They are represented by Michael Iacopino, with Brennan, Lenehan, Iacopino and Hickey in Manchester.

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