Pa. couple sues Trader Joe's over wife's fractured hip

By Jon Campisi | May 6, 2013

A Bucks County couple has filed a personal injury lawsuit against a local Trader Joe’s

over claims that the wife sustained a hip fracture after tripping and falling at the business.

Maryann Dotti and her husband, Vincent, of Pipersville, Pa., are suing the California-based health food chain over an alleged incident that occurred at the Trader Joe’s store on Bethlehem Pike in Montgomery County on June 12 of last year.

On that date, according to the complaint, Maryann Dotti was leaving the store through the sliding doors, pushing a cart full of groceries, when the wheel of the cart became stuck in the area adjacent to the bottom door molding where chunks of concrete were missing, a defective condition that created holes and divots in the area.

The plaintiff then ended up going down with the cart, an act that resulted in her fracturing her right hip, the suit states.

“Defendant, their agents, servants and employees, breached [their duty of care] by failing to maintain the store premises in a reasonably safe condition despite actual knowledge or reasonably apparent knowledge that said area posed an unreasonable risk of harm,” the complaint reads. “Defendant was negligent in its care, custody and/or control of its premises at the grocery store.”

Trader Joes is accused of failing to provide a safe entrance and exit at the store, failing to keep the concrete around the door molding free from defects and deterioration, failing to warn of a dangerous condition, and other acts of negligence.

The plaintiffs had to spend various sums of money on Maryann’s medical care, the suit states, and Maryann is expected to suffer inconvenience, embarrassment, physical disfigurement, mental anguish and loss of life’s enjoyment.

The co-defendant named in the lawsuit is Columbus, Ohio-based Stanbery Development LLC, also known as Stanbery English Village L.P., which was the landlord of the property leased by Trader Joe’s.

The couple seeks damages in excess of $150,000, exclusive of interest and costs.

The suit was filed May 2 at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia by Doylestown, Pa. lawyer Carol A. Shelly.

The federal case number is 2:13-cv-02437-SD. 

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