Former South Portland Police Chief Robert Schwartz is suing Q Street Diner for monetary damages after he slipped and fell on ice in front of the popular local restaurant in December 2022, injured his leg and required surgery, according to court documents.

Schwartz is seeking compensation for the medical costs and other economic damages that resulted from the fall.

“The incident occurred outside of operating business hours,” Stephanie Reeves, owner of Q Street Diner in Knightville, told the Sentry. “Because of that, in combination with the other facts of the case, our insurance company is compelled to take it to trial.”

Schwartz’s legal representatives at Garmey Law in Portland declined to comment for this article.

Former Police Chief Robert Schwartz was injured in a fall at Q Street Diner in December 2022. Drew Johnson / Sentry

According to the lawsuit filed in Cumberland County Superior Court last month, Schwartz went to Q Street Diner, where he was a regular customer, with a group of friends on Dec. 14, 2022. In front of the stairs leading to the entrance, he slipped on black ice and fell.

“There was no salt or sand on the black ice, and there was no sign or marking indicating that the area was dangerous or redirecting patrons to use the ramp instead of the stairs,” the lawsuit states.


EMTs were called to the scene, according to the lawsuit, and Schwartz had surgery for a quadriceps tendon rupture the following day. He received physical and occupational therapy over the next six months.

“(Schwartz’s) quality of life was greatly diminished as a result of his fall and injury,” the lawsuit says. “For months, he was unable to leave his house.”

During his recovery, Schwartz was prevented from working as a law enforcement educator and participating in his routine activities such as going to church and walking his dogs, according to the suit.

Schwartz was with the South Portland Police Department for 28 years, serving as chief from 1984 to 1994. He is a former executive director of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association.

Comments are not available on this story.