Jon Campisi Aug. 3, 2012, 9:00am

A man who claims he underwent numerous surgical procedures, and had to be placed in a

medically induced coma, all stemming from a cut on his knuckle that was sustained while working for an outside agency at a Pennsylvania Wal-Mart distribution center has filed a personal injury claim in state court.

Philadelphia attorneys James E. Beasley, Jr. and Terence J. Lynch, of The Beasley Firm LLC, filed the civil action Aug. 1 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Tobyhanna, Pa. resident Stephan Stewart.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are the Tobyhanna-based Wal-Mart Distribution Center and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville, Ark.

According to the complaint, Stewart, who was employed by Rehrig Penn Logistics at the time, was injured while working at the distribution center back on March 1, 2011.

As part of his job with Rehrig Penn Logistics, Stewart cleaned and sorted wooden pallets at the Wal-Mart distribution center.

The pallets contained wood dust, bird droppings, shards of glass and plastic and rusty nails.

While working on that day back in early March of last year, Stewart was cut on his knuckle while removing some debris contained inside a wooden pallet, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit, which alleges that the distribution center was and remained in an “unreasonably unsafe and unsanitary condition” at the time, accuses the defendants of negligence for allowing a dangerous, defective and unsafe condition to exist at the distribution center, failing to have reasonable procedures and policies in place regarding periodic inspection and maintenance of the premises, negligently failing to instruct and train Rehrig Penn Logistics employees regarding Wall-Mart corporate policies or other standards and guidelines pertaining to the use, maintenance and cleaning of the distribution center, and failing to keep the wooden pallets clean and free from unreasonably dangerous conditions.

As a result of the incident, the suit claims, Stewart sustained necrotizing fasciitis, decreased right arm mobility, decreased right arm function, severe and permanent scarring, multiple skin grafts, chronic and ongoing intense pain, decreased mobility, depression and anxiety, nervous shock, difficulty sleeping, swelling, fever, numbness, headaches, a need for continued therapy and rehabilitation, a loss of life’s pleasures and an inability to engage in usual family and social activities.

Stewart also suffered, and continues to suffer, wage losses and earning capacity, the suit states.

Stewart seeks damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, delay damages and other court relief.

A jury trial has been demanded.


The case ID number is 120704533.

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