Gamble doubles the odds: Two suits target Speedy Stop for same injury

David Yates May 6, 2008, 8:43am

More than two years ago, David Gamble pulled over at the College Street Speedy Stop to pump air into his deflating tires. As he walked toward his vehicle with hose in hand, Gamble slipped in a puddle of water.

Gamble, a JNG Inc. employee, was covered by his work insurance policy with Texas Mutual Insurance Co. After the incident, Gamble sought medical treatment and Texas Mutual was called upon to pay Gamble $100,270 in medical and wage benefits.

Now, Gamble and Texas Mutual have each filed suits against Speedy Stop Food Stores and Air Serv Corp., claiming the defendants negligently failed to keep gas station patrons safe.

The parties' respective suits were filed on May 2 in the Jefferson County District Court. Both parities are seeking damages on behalf of Gamble.

And both parties contend the incident transpired because Speedy Stop's air/water machine was leaking.

According to the Texas Mutual suit, the water streaming from the machine mingled with oil seeping from the ground, creating an unreasonable dangerous condition on the gas station's premises.

However, the suits vary on how the incident occurred.

Gamble's suit says he was injured while in the process of airing his tires. Texas Mutual's suit says Gamble was injured the moment he exited his vehicle.

While Gamble's suit says he slipped in a puddle of water, Texas' Mutual's suit insists the water was clouded with oil.

"Defendants should have known of the general risk of allowing a mixture of oil and water to be left standing on an asphalt surface," Texas Mutual's suit says. "The Speedy Stop Defendants had a duty to protect Gamble from dangers of which they were fully aware."

Texas Mutual, as subrogee of Gamble, is suing for Gamble's past and future pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, lost earnings and disablement, plus actual damages and attorneys' fees.

In the other suit, Gamble is suing for his own past and future pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, lost earnings and disablement, plus attorneys' fees.

Texas Mutual is represented by attorney Melissa N. Murrah of the Kelly, Smith & Murrah law firm. The company's suit (Case No. E181-699) has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District.

Gamble is represented by attorney Clint Brasher. His suit (Case No. A181-702) has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District.

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