Customer who sustained fractured sacrum, herniated disc during fall on wet floor sues Home Depot
A New Jersey woman who says she sustained a cracked pelvis and other injuries after slipping on a puddle of water at the entrance of a suburban Philadelphia Home Depot store is suing the retail outlet in federal court. Darleen Cook, who resides in Swedesboro, N.J., filed suit at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on April 23 against Atlanta-based Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. over injuries she claims to have sustained on Sept. 8, 2012, at the Home Depot in Clifton Heights, Delaware County. Cook says she was injured at the store when she slipped on a large amount of water that had accumulated outside of the entrance on a day marked by heavy rainfall. According to the complaint, Cook, who traveled by car to the home improvement retailer, hurriedly walked up to the front door after being dropped off by her husband in the parking lot to avoid getting drenched. It was then that the plaintiff slipped on the standing water, which caused her to fall to the ground and sustain a fractured sacrum, a herniated disc and “general pain to her neck and back.” Cook says she had to undergo extensive physical testing and treatment, and that her medicine, physical therapy and other medical care caused her to spend a significant amount of money. She also claims she suffered earnings losses due to her inability to work while being treated for her injuries. The suit blames the defendant for the incident, saying employees were on actual notice that it was raining, and had been raining, on the day of the accident, and that nobody did anything to remediate the water collection problem at the entrance to the business. Furthermore, Home Depot sells products that could have corrected the hazard, the lawsuit states, meaning there was no excuse for the floor to become slippery like it did on that day. “The potential for serious bodily injury to patrons is high as the floors are made of some composite or material similar in hardness to concrete and patrons could sustain a fractured skull and brain damage as a result of a fall, as plaintiff fortunately did not,” the complaint reads. It was only after the accident, the suit states, that employees mopped the floor, placed mats on the wet area and put up warning signs letting customers know about the slippery surface. The plaintiff seeks both compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $150,000. She is being represented by Philadelphia attorney Peter J. Scuderi. The federal case number is 2:14-cv-02338-AB.