Lancaster Sued Over Woman’s Fatal Fall

The son and granddaughter of an elderly woman who died after falling 20 feet from a staircase during a tour of Lancaster’s nearly completed performing arts center have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Lancaster Superior Court, claims the city and Cates Construction Co., the original builder of the center, who has since been replaced, were negligent in the Oct. 29, 1990, death of Viola Parr, 87, of Lancaster.

The suit by Fred Parr and Kathy Zipp did not specify the amount of damages sought. It follows the city’s rejection of a claim filed by the relatives. Viola Parr’s fall from an unrailed staircase into the orchestra pit occurred during a city-arranged tour of the $13-million project.