Walmart denied summary judgment against claims of woman who fell in West Mifflin store

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jun 14, 2019


Walmart  

PITTSBURGH – A motion for summary judgment brought by a West Mifflin Walmart store against a woman allegedly injured in its produce section was recently denied in a Pittsburgh court.

Eileen Clark of McKeesport first filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Feb. 16, 2018 versus Walmart Stores East, L.P., of West Mifflin.

On Oct. 21, 2017, Clark alleged she was shopping at the Walmart in West Mifflin when she came into contact with “a liquid substance which was located at or near the produce section, creating a dangerous condition on the premises, causing serious and permanent personal injuries.”

Clark supposedly sustained right knee injuries in the fall, including a fracture, plus scrapes, lacerations, contusions and bruising.

Clark claimed the defendant failed to provide sufficient warning as to the reasonably-foreseeable defects and dangerous nature of the premises, failed to inspect, monitor, repair or warn of the defective condition and failed to exercise proper care, custody and control over the aforesaid premises, in addition to other charges.

On Dec. 31, Walmart’s counsel filed a motion for summary judgment, referring to a remark made in the plaintiff’s deposition that Clark saw “a slimy substance” as she was falling, but could not identify its exact location on the floor and “did not know” whether that was the cause of her fall.

“The record also establishes that plaintiff did not feel the alleged substance after her fall, that she did not tell any employees that came to her aid about the ‘slimy substance’ because she was not sure that is what caused her fall, that plaintiff’s husband could not locate any substance on the floor after her fall and that he did not see any remnants of a substance on her body or clothing after the fall,” the motion read, in part.

“As plaintiff is unable to demonstrate that Walmart had notice of the alleged condition causing her fall, she is unable to establish the required elements of her cause of action, entitling Walmart to judgment as a matter of law.”

Clark’s counsel responded on Jan. 28, denying each point made in the summary judgment motion as a conclusion of law and calling the motion itself “premature”, since the defendant in the case has yet to be deposed and further discovery still needs to be conducted, leading to remaining issues of material fact still outstanding.

On Feb. 11, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Donald R. Walko Jr. issued a denial of Walmart’s motion for summary judgment. 

Later, on May 6, the case was scheduled for trial call on Sept. 10.

For one count of negligence, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $35,000, plus all costs and other relief this Court deems just.

The plaintiff is represented by Marc I. Simon of Simon & Simon, in Pittsburgh.

The defendant is represented by Rebecca Sember Izsak of Thomas Thomas & Hafer, also in Pittsburgh.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-18-002314

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nick.malfitano@therecordinc.com

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