Suit: 'Beware of Shopping Baskets' warning needed to avoid injury

David Yates Jun. 2, 2008, 8:51am

A local woman is alleging Wal-Mart had a duty to warn her not to step into unattended shopping baskets left on the ground.

While shopping at the Dowlen Road Wal-Mart with her daughter, Mary Bourne stepped into a hand-held shopping basket and fell to the ground. Bourne claims Wal-Mart negligently failed to "instruct" her on how to "avoid the unexpected hazard."

She filed suit against the mega retailer and one of its former assistant managers, Renee Berryhill, May 29 in the Jefferson County District Court.

In her suit, Bourne says she was shopping at the Wal-Mart Super Center on Sept. 13 or 14, 2007, when a "foreign substance" on the floor "caused her to sustain serious injuries." Bourne had stepped into a hand-held basket by the checkout aisle, "a place the shopping baskets are not to be left."

Bourne, 61 years old at the time of her fall, goes on to say she was "exercising reasonable care for her own safety and well being," and that the incident was solely caused by the defendants' negligence.

"The hand-held shopping basket posed an unreasonable risk of harm to persons similarly situated, and Defendant actually knew or reasonably should have known of the hazard, risk and danger caused by the presence of the basket," the suit says.

The suit goes on to allege more than 20 acts of negligence allegedly committed by Wal-Mart and Berryhill, including failing to warn customers of the dangerous condition and remedy the hazard.

Bourne is suing for past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, mental anguish, impairment and disfigurement, plus attorneys' fees.

She is requesting a jury trial and is represented by attorney Gilbert Adams of the Law Offices of Gilbert T. Adams.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District.

Case No. A181-824

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