Fall at gas station leads to suit against store owners

David Yates Apr. 2, 2008, 7:13am

John Morgan

Clearly marked with yellow paint, David Pouncy still slipped and fell on a concrete ramp while exiting a gas station owned by Steinhagen Oil Co. Pouncy says the incident left him partially disabled and is suing Steinhagen Oil, claiming the company failed to treat the ramp with "non-skid materials."

His suit was filed with the Jefferson County District Court on April 1.

According to Pouncy's petition, on Dec. 2, 2007, he entered the convenience store to make a minor purchase. The store had a concrete ramp leading from the parking lot up to the store's entrance.

"The ramp was … concrete covered in yellow paint, without any non-skid treatment or materials," the suit said. "

On the day in question, the ramp was covered with water; and upon exiting the store, Plaintiff lost his footing and slipped, hitting his head and neck on the concrete ramp. Plaintiff was severely injured thereby, sustaining damage to his neck; Plaintiff has since been surgically treated for the injuries thus caused, but still is partially disabled."

The suit goes on to say the gas station was aware that the ramp was dangerous, "because a Pepsi delivery person had also slipped on the ramp approximately six months before Plaintiff's accident, and upon so slipping, notified the clerk at the counter that 'That ramp is dangerous, I just slipped on it, you guys need to fix it or someone will be hurt by it,'" the suit said.

"Despite being so notified, however, Defendant failed and refused to repair the ramp. In any event, Defendant was on constructive notice of the defect because it had been extant for a sufficiently long period of time so that a reasonable landlord in Defendant's position should have become aware of the defect and mitigated it."

In his suit, Pouncy claims Steinhagen Oil Co. committed the following acts of alleged negligence:

  • Defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition on its premises, to-wit: That the concrete ramp leading up from the parking area to the store was slippery and hazardous when wet;
  • That this dangerous condition posed an unreasonable risk of injury to its invitee-customers;
  • Defendant did not exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the unreasonable risk of harm;
  • And Defendant's failure to use reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the unreasonable risk of harm proximately caused Plaintiff's injuries.

    Pouncy is suing for past and future medical expenses, pain, lost wages, loss of consortium and mental anguish.

    He is requesting a trial by jury and is represented by John Morgan of the Lindsay & Morgan law firm.

    Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

    Case No. B181-527

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