Woman impaled by rogue Ocean City beach umbrella sues town, rental business

A woman impaled by a rogue Ocean City, Maryland, umbrella almost three years ago has sued the town and the beach rental business for negligence.

Jill Mendygral, of Kingston, Pennsylvania, was on the beach on vacation when she was hit by someone else’s rental umbrella near 54th Street.

The umbrella was swept up by the wind out of the sand and impaled Mendygral in the chest on her first day of vacation, according to the federal lawsuit, filed this week in the U.S. District Court for Maryland, seeking more than $15,000 in damages.

Mendygral was taken by helicopter to a hospital where she underwent emergency surgery to remove the umbrella, the lawsuit says.

The complaint claims that the city and 85 ′n Sunny LLC, the company that rented out the umbrella, are responsible for the care of the beach, including monitoring the forecast and wind gusts and folding umbrellas in the downward position so they are unable to become dislodged from the sand.

The lawsuit says a wind advisory was in effect and the beach was not inspected for hazards that could cause injuries.

Named in the complaint are president of the Ocean City Town Council Matt James and Patrick J. McLaughlin, of the beach rental company.

According to the complaint, Mendygral suffered a chest wound requiring surgery and a drain, radiating back pain, numbness in her right arm and hand, fevers and anxiety and depression.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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