The American Memorial Park has sought to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it by a man who alleged that the park was liable for his ankle injury.
In its response to the lawsuit filed by local business owner Yoon Suk Chang in the U.S. District Court for the NMI, the American Memorial Park, through assistant U.S. Attorney Mikel Schwab, denied liability and asked the District Court to dismiss the case altogether.
Schwab told the court that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the park is not liable for the acts or omissions of an independent individual. Also, Schwab said his client denies any liability for the injury sustained by Chang back in 2019 while at the park with his two sons.
Schwab argues that Chang’s alleged injuries and/or damages were not proximately caused by the acts of the park’s agents, servants, and employees.
“The plaintiff’s alleged injuries and damages were caused solely and proximately by the acts or omissions of other parties, persons, or entities, or their servants, agents, representatives, and employees, none of whom are agencies or employees of the United States for whom the United States has any liability pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act,” he said.
The lawyer also stated that the court has no jurisdiction over claims against actions by federal employees that are a matter of choice and guided by policies relating to access, historic and natural resource preservation, and conservation
According to Saipan Tribune archives, Chang is suing AMP in the amount of $1 million after he twisted his ankle while out at the park.
According to the lawsuit, back in Dec. 8, 2019, Chang and his two sons were at the park and were playing in the grassy area adjacent to the amphitheater when As Chang’s younger son started to go toward the parking lot away from the grassy area. As Chang ran after him to stop him, he claims his foot was caught in a hole about a foot deep, causing him to fall violently to the ground and twisting his ankle.
Following the fall, Chang said he did not go to the hospital and instead applied ice on his ankle and took an aspirin. By Dec. 10, 2019, the plaintiff said the pain was too intense and he went to Brothers Oriental Medicine Clinic, where they recommended he get an X-ray.
The lawsuit said that throughout January 2020, the pain in Chang’s ankle persisted and he visited the Commonwealth Health Center on numerous occasions and was ultimately referred to an orthopedic specialist on March 16, 2020.
A CHC doctor allegedly recommended that Chang have an MRI, but because of COVID-19, the hospital was unable to refer him to Guam.
With the pain persisting, Chang decided to go to Korea at the beginning of June for treatment. While in Korea, the doctors were able to diagnose the problem with an MRI. On July 7, 2020, the doctors in Korea performed surgery on him.
Chang has also been advised by the doctors in Korea that he may need additional surgery and perhaps an ankle replacement.
Meanwhile, due to the injury and his surgery, Chang said his construction business on Saipan had many projects left pending, causing him financial losses.