Man sues after hurting back while helping neighbor move couch

David Yates Aug. 19, 2008, 10:00am

ORANGE - The owners of an Orange furniture showroom have found themselves in court with the neighbor they asked to help move a couch, who is claiming he would not have injured his back if they had provided him with proper safety equipment.

Nearly two years ago, Jerry and Leeann Norman, owners of Interior Design Studio in Orange County, asked their office park neighbor Christopher Martinez to help move a couch into their office, and now Martinez is suing the couple for back problems.

Martinez filed his lawsuit against the Normans on Aug. 6 in Orange County District Court, claiming the couple failed to provide him with the proper safety equipment.

Martinez, whose business was next door to the Normans', says in his suit that on Sept. 6, 2006, the Normans asked him to help move a couch from their warehouse to the showroom floor.

"The couch was loaded by plaintiff and defendant into a truck and driven to the front of the business so it could be placed on defendants' showroom floor," the suit says.

"While unloading the couch, plaintiff was put in a position by defendant to hold and lift the couch � causing him to twist his back. Additionally, when attempting to move the couch into the business, the doors were too narrow and the couch required much maneuvering and struggle to get it into the building."

In his suit, Martinez says he hurt his back as a result of the couple's alleged negligence, and was forced to undergo surgery.

Martinez alleges the Normans negligently failed to provide him with proper safety equipment, failed to follow proper moving procedures and failed to ensure a safe, accessible route was available when moving the furniture.

He is suing for past and future pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, lost earnings and impairment.

Martinez is represented by Adam Terrell, a partner in the Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell law firm.

The case has been assigned to Judge Buddy Hahn of the 260th Judicial District.

Case No. D-080309-c

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