Shopper sues store on Galveston's Strand over missed step

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 29, 2009, 3:29pm

GALVESTON – A Galveston County woman is suing a California-based clothing retailer over a fall she allegedly took at the company's store in Galveston almost two years ago.

According to Karen Buckner's personal injury lawsuit against Big Dog USA Inc., Buckner was leaving the Big Dog on The Strand on May 4, 2007, when she lost her balance.

The suit was filed in Galveston County District Court on April 28.

Buckner claims the steps leading out were the same color as the floor of the business, which caused her to miss a step and fall forward onto her hands and left knee.

"The color of the steps and the floor were both green and difficult to discern," the original petition states.

Although court papers do not elaborate on the extent of Buckner's injuries, they claim the plaintiff encountered severe pain which continues to this day.

Big Dog USA is accused of improperly maintaining the steps, failing to identify said steps in a different and easily identifiable color, and neglecting to warn the plaintiff and other customers of the lack of difference of coloration.

"The defendant breached its duties to the plaintiff by failing to warn or give notice to her that there was a problem in the visibility of the steps," the suit says. "It failed to provide sufficient lighting or other means of illumination in the vicinity of the steps sufficient to discern said steps."

Buckner, who is represented by Beaumont attorney Craig J. Schexnaider, insists she did everything she could to avoid danger while in the store.

She seeks damages to cover her medical expenses.

Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 09CV0619

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