After two tries, Wal-Mart gets injury suit dismissed

David Yates Aug. 24, 2009, 7:43am

The second time was the charm for Wal-Mart, which had a slip and fall suit against it dismissed by Judge Milton Shuffield � again.

In 2007 the Record reported on suit filed by Charlotte Green, who claimed she slipped and fell in a puddle of water near a checkout register while shopping at the Port Arthur Wal-Mart.

On Friday, Aug. 21, Judge Shuffield dismissed the suit for lack of evidence � making it the second time he had done so.

The first was on March 31, when Judge Shuffield granted Wal-Mart's motion for a no evidence summary judgment, finding the motion "meritorious," court papers say.

However, in response, plaintiff's attorney David Dies filed a motion for a new trial, claiming he could produce a witness who could testify to Wal-Mart's alleged negligence.

The judge granted Dies' motion and vacated his previous order, allowing the new testimony. Wal-Mart fired back by filing another motion for summary judgment.

At an Aug. 17 summary judgment hearing, Dies said his witness' deposition "raised questions of fact" in the case. He said her testimony shows that there were numerous water puddles the "size of purses" on the floor for some time.

According to the petition, around 5:30 a.m., June 17, 2006, Green was shopping at the Wal-Mart located at 8585 Memorial Blvd. in Port Arthur, "when she slipped in a large puddle of water at the register," causing her to fall and injure herself.

"There's no question she had an accident � there's no question there was water on the floor," Dies said at the hearing, adding that Wal-Mart negligently failed to barricade the hazardous aisles.

Maintaining its original position, the defense argued that there is still no solid evidence in the case.

Judge Shuffield agreed. A court employee told the Record that the judge is waiting on a written order to be submitted by the defense before the judgment can be officially logged.

Dies is an attorney for the Hart & Parkhurst law firm.

The defendant is represented in part by attorney Karen Spivey.

Case No. D180-591

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