Convenience store employee slips on water, sues store owner

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 25, 2009, 6:00am

TEXARKANA, Ark. � Working at a gas station and convenience store in Texarkana, Texas, Brian Douglas Hovarter walked out of the room he was working in, slipped on a puddle of water and fell, landing on his shoulder.

Seeking more than $970,000, Hovarter filed suit against Truman Arnold Cos., doing business as Roadrunner, on Aug. 20 in the Western District of Arkansas.

According to the complaint, Hovarter claims that a Roadrunner employee caused water to be on the floor outside the room where he was working. Without opportunity to see the water on the floor or any type of warning, Hovarter turned from his work and stepped outside the room, then slipped and fell violently to the floor, injuring his shoulder, the suit states.

He argues that Roadrunner had a duty to maintain its "premises in a relatively safe condition for the benefit of the plaintiff and to exercise ordinary care in the maintenance and cleaning activities as a reasonable and prudent store owner would have done in the same or similar circumstances."

The plaintiff states that Truman Arnold Cos. breached this duty and was negligent by failing to warn the plaintiff about the water on the floor, failing to remove the water from the floor, causing the water to be on the floor, and causing the water to be on the floor in a location that the plaintiff could not see.

Hovarter is seeking damages for physical pain, mental anguish, lost earnings, damage to earning capacity, physical impairment, and medical expenses.

Texarkana attorneys J. Michael Smith and C. David Glass of the law firm Smith Weber, LLP are representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes will preside over the litigation.

Case No 4:09cv04089

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