Impatient customer tries to retrieve shoes, sues Academy after fall

David Yates Feb. 26, 2008, 7:17am

During her lunch break, Katherine Ferguson went to the Beaumont Academy to exchange a pair of shoes. When she couldn't find anyone to help her, Ferguson, pressed for time, grabbed a footstool and attempted to snatch some sneakers off a high shelf.

Ferguson lost her balance and fell. Injured, she filed suit against Academy Sports and Outdoors, claiming the retailer "failed to warn her not to try and get the shoes on her own and without help."

Ferguson's suit was filed in the Jefferson County Court at Law No. 1 on Feb. 19.

According to the plaintiff's petition, on Oct. 4, 2007, Ferguson went to Academy to exchange a pair of tennis shoes on her 30 minute lunch break. An Academy employee initially assisted her but left Ferguson on her own to search for different-sized shoes.

Ferguson proceeded to grow impatient and on her own initiative began to climb a footstool to reach a pair of shoes on a high shelf, the suit said. While climbing down, the stool tilted and she fell backwards, landing on a shoe shelf.

Academy employees came to Ferguson's aid and turned her information over to the store's insurance company, the suit said.

In addition to seeking medical compensation through Academy's insurance provider, Ferguson is suing the store for past and future mental anguish and lost earnings.

Ferguson alleges Academy negligently allowed her to get the shoes on her own, failed to warn her not to climb the store's footstool and for leaving her with the impression that the employee would return shortly to assist her.

Ferguson is represented by the Law Offices of Woodson E. Dryden.

The case has been assigned to Judge Alfred Gerson.

Case No. 110310

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