Deli employee for Wal-Mart sues Sherwin-Williams after fall allegedly caused by floor coating

By Nicholas Malfitano | Dec 5, 2017

PITTSBURGH – A Wal-Mart deli employee allegedly injured and burned when she fell as a result of a glossy floor coating, has sued a prominent manufacturer of that substance for damages.

Nicole Hepler of New Kensington filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Nov. 2 versus The Sherwin-Williams Company, of Cleveland, Ohio.

Hepler was employed by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (not a party to this action), in the deli at its Pittsburgh Mills location. In mid-July 2015, the floors behind the deli near the fryer were redone and Sherwin-Williams applied a clear glossy coating to the floors, the suit says.

According to the lawsuit, the glossy coating applied to the floor by Sherwin-Williams was an improper coating for this type of floor, and caused the surface to become extremely slippery.

“In the days prior to plaintiff’s fall, Wal-Mart contacted Sherwin-Williams regarding the slippery glossy coating and, upon information and belief, put in a work order for Sherwin-Williams to fix the floor and/or remove the glossy coating. Sherwin-Williams reported to Wal-Mart that it would be approximately two weeks before they could repair the floor and/or remove the glossy coating and further advised that the coating on the floor should have been a ‘gritty coating’ and not a glossy coating,” the suit says.

On July 23, 2015, Hepler was working behind the deli and was using the fryer, the suit says. The floors were very slippery due to the glossy coating, that Hepler fell and the ladle she was using went into the fryer, which then caused hot oil to spill onto her arm, and which resulted in significant burns and permanent scarring to that part of her body, the suit says. 

For a count of negligence, the plaintiff is seeking damages in an amount in excess of the applicable arbitration limits, exclusive of interests and costs.

The plaintiff is represented by George M. Kontos and Brittani R. Hassen of Kontos Mengine Law Group, in Pittsburgh.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-17-009724

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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