Dennis Franz sues over chandelier mishap

Actor, sister suffered injuries from 2007 incident

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- Actor Dennis Franz and his sister have filed lawsuits over alleged injuries suffered when a chandelier fell at Franz's house on Lake Coeur d'Alene in 2007.

The suits filed July 16 in Idaho District Court claim 72-year-old Marlene Schraut suffered serious injuries and that a toddler she was holding was also injured.

"Both she and the baby were knocked to the floor by the impact," according to the suit filed by Franz.

Franz, known for his role as Detective Andy Sipowicz on the TV drama "NYPD Blue," also claims the negligence of the defendants forced him to forgo a $16 million personal services contract. The suit does not describe what that work entailed.

"The contract was lost as the direct and proximate result of the emotional distress suffered by him on July 18, 2007," the date of the incident, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuits allege negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, product liability and breach of expressed or implied warranty.

Named as defendants in both suits are Edwards Construction, Inc., ACME Electric, Aladdin Light Lift Inc. and company representatives.

"The accident is unfortunate. The parties are still in investigation to determine the cause of the accident," said Peter Erbland, an attorney who represents Edwards Construction of Coeur d'Alene and Acme Electric of Post Falls.

A representative of Aladdin, a Memphis, Tenn.-based manufacturer, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The lawsuit demands a jury trial and seeks monetary damages in excess of $10,000.

Franz's lawsuit says that as Schraut lay "bleeding in the hospital," the defendants entered the home without permission and disabled the mechanism, potentially compromising the evidence in the case.

That allegation is "absolutely not true," Erbland said.

He said Edwards Construction workers were in and out of the house daily, as were the electricians, with the full permission of the plaintiffs.
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