Fort Constitution

Fort Constitution Historic Site in New Castle.

BRENTWOOD — A Hampton woman is suing the state for negligence after she was seriously injured by bricks and a cinder block that fell off a wall at the Fort Constitution Historic Site in New Castle last year.

Janet Bisceglia claims her medical bills now exceed $147,000 for the injuries she suffered on June 10, 2018, while she was visiting the historic site with her family.

The suit was filed against the state and the New Hampshire Department of Cultural and Natural Resources, which aims to protect, preserve, promote and manage the state’s natural and cultural resources.

According to the suit, Bisceglia was at a family outing and planned to tour the lighthouse at Fort Constitution, which is located on a peninsula on New Castle Island next to the U.S. Coast Guard Station.

Fort Constitution was formerly known as Fort William and Mary and was built in the early 17th century.

The fort underwent renovations completed in 1808 that included a wall twice as high as the colonial fort and new brick buildings.

Bisceglia claims that when the family attempted to enter the lighthouse she learned that her 3-year-old granddaughter was too small to go inside. She decided to stay outside with her granddaughter while others took the tour, the suit said.

“As plaintiff and her granddaughter awaited the rest of the family, numerous bricks and a large cinder block began falling onto her from the 12-15 foot height of a wall of Fort Constitution, rendering her unconscious and causing her to suffer multiple injuries, including but not limited to traumatic brain injury, severe laceration and three fractures of her right ankle,” said the suit, which was filed in Rockingham County Superior Court through Bisceglia’s attorney, Christine M. Rockefeller of Dover.

Among other things, Bisceglia alleges the state didn’t warn against hazardous conditions and failed to properly protect against injuries from falling debris.

The suit seeks “full, fair and adequate compensation” for the injuries and any physical and mental pain and suffering.

Neither the state nor the Department of Cultural and Natural Resources have responded to the suit, which was filed on Aug. 6.

Shelly Angers, public information officer for the Department of Cultural and Natural Resources, referred questions to the state’s Division of Parks and Recreation because Fort Constitution is a state park.

Brent Wucher, the parks and recreation public information officer, said the incident involves an ongoing investigation and that he couldn’t comment further.


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