Lowe's faces personal injury claim by customer struck by electric cart by allegedly drunk worker

By Jon Campisi | Mar 4, 2013

A Montgomery County woman is suing the home improvement retail chain Lowe's over

allegations that she became injured when an employee, who the plaintiff claims was drunk at the time, ran into her with an electric cart.

Francine Lombardo and her husband, Jerome Lombardo, filed their civil suit against Lowe’s Home Center Inc. Feb. 27 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The plaintiffs are being represented by Norristown lawyer Frank P. Murphy of the firm Murphy & Dengler.

The suit alleges that while shopping at the Lowe’s store in Oaks, Pa. on May 7, 2011, Francine Lombardo was struck by an electric pallet cart filled with mulch that was being driven by a store employee.

The plaintiff claims that the worker who was operating the cart that struck her appeared intoxicated based upon the fact that he smelled of alcohol, had glassy eyes and slurred speech.

The lawsuit claims that after the incident, three other store employees ushered the pallet cart operator away to another location within the store, and that after being “abandoned and in an injured condition” for about 15 minutes, the store manager gave Francine a bag of ice for her injured leg and told her she should report to a hospital.

As a result of the incident, the complaint states, Francine Lombardo sustained an aggravation of a pre-existing condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.

The plaintiff also experienced numbness and discomfort in her right leg from the knee down to her toes, developed shoulder and lower back injuries, and sustained a right leg muscle tear that is not fully healed nearly two years after the accident.

The couple has incurred medical costs related to Francine’s treatment, the suit claims.

“By reason of the injuries sustained, Plaintiff, Francine Lombardo, was caused to suffer great pain and agony and was hindered in the past, and will be hindered in the future, from attending to her daily duties, functions and occupations causing her great physical damage and financial losses,” the complaint reads.

The lawsuit accuses the defendant of creating a dangerous condition by allowing an intoxicated and otherwise unqualified person to operate a piece of dangerous machinery within the store, and for failing to properly train employees on how to operate electric pallet cart equipment.

The complaint contains counts of negligence, gross negligence and loss of consortium.

The couple seeks more than $50,000 in damages, plus interest and costs.

The case ID number is 130202941. 

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