Market Basket seeks summary judgment in trip and fall suit

David Yates Jan. 27, 2010, 10:18am

A local judge is considering granting summary judgment against a woman who tripped and fell in a Market Basket parking lot.

As the Southeast Texas Record reported in August 2008, Carolyn Harris was a customer of the Market Basket store on FM 105 in Beaumont on Aug. 11, 2006.

On Jan. 27 a summary judgment hearing was held in Judge Milton Shuffield's 136th District Court. No decision was reached and the judge is taking Market Basket's motion under advisement.

The hearing was not held in the courtroom and took place behind closed doors.

A Jefferson County courthouse employee told the Record the attorneys did not want an official record.

According to its summary judgment motion, Market Basket contends that there is not enough sufficient evidence in the case to warrant continued litigation.

In her suit, Harris says she "suffered severe injuries when she tripped and fell in the parking lot."

Harris had filed her personal injury suit against Retail Investors of Texas, doing business as Market Basket, on Aug. 8, 2008, in Jefferson County District Court.

The alleged acts of negligence include:

  • Failing to maintain said premises in a reasonable condition;
  • Failing to inspect said premises;
  • Failing to make reasonable repairs; and
  • Failing to warn of a dangerous condition of said premises.

    "Plaintiff would further show that as a result of the negligence of the defendant, and the injuries to plaintiff caused solely by the said negligence of said defendant, plaintiff has experienced extreme physical pain, suffering and mental anguish; and, in all probability, will be forced to endure physical pain, suffering and mental anguish for an undetermined length of time in the future and probably for the rest of her life," the complaint states.

    As a result of the injuries, Harris claims she has incurred hospital and medical expenses and will continue to incur additional medical expenses for an undetermined length of time.

    Harris also alleges that Market Basket's conduct constituted gross negligence, conscious indifference and malice which entitle her to recover punitive and/or exemplary damages.

    Jason E. Payne of Houston is representing Harris.

    Market Basket is represented by attorney Jeffrey Ray.

    Case No. D182-207

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