The Villages, in turn, has sued the designer of the golf course, Clifton Golf Design Group of Deltona, claiming the course wasn't designed with protections for residents.
The accident occurred after Eileen Zervic and her husband, Walter, closed on a house in The Villages on April 20, 2000. They said in their complaint that the developer and real-estate agents assured them the house wasn't in an area where golf balls would be hit.
Zervic suffered 'immediate and permanent damage' when a golf ball whacked her above the eye after she took two steps out the back door to see how a chandelier looked from the outside, according to the lawsuit.
Her lawyer, Walter Ketcham of Orlando, said she has headaches and memory loss.
The Zervics sued golfer John Wietz and have since settled for an undisclosed amount. The suit, which also named The Villages, argued that the development should have put up barriers, netting or trees to protect residents around the Tierra del Sol Golf Club where Wietz was playing. In addition, the Zervics say the salesperson at The Villages was not truthful about the potential hazards.
'They asked the salesperson, and she assured them that golf balls really didn't come in that area. They are hit the other way,' Ketcham said.
In its answer, The Villages says the Zervics were grownups who should have known there are risks to living in a golf community. The developer also said Zervic 'carelessly conducted herself,' which caused her to be struck.
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