Lawsuit alleges Wal-Mart employee rammed shopping carts into woman

Michelle Massey Feb. 22, 2010, 6:00am

SHERMAN -- A woman in her 70s was getting a shopping cart at the entrance of the Wal-Mart in Lewisville when a Wal-Mart employee allegedly rammed a rack of carts into her. She claims the force and surprise of the impact caused the woman to fall to the ground, hurting her hip.

Betty E. Wheat filed a personal injury lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores LLC on Jan. 5 in the 16th Judicial District of Denton County, Texas. Wal-Mart removed the case to the federal court, Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on Feb. 10.

Wheat clalims that on Jan. 9, 2008, she was attempting to get a shopping cart when a Wal-Mart employee, who was operating a machine used to move several shopping carts, rammed the carts into the stationary rack of carts, which in turn rammed into her.

"The sudden jolt from the shopping carts combined with the surprise of the collision forced Plaintiff to fall to the ground, causing bruising to her left hip and ensuring significant pain throughout her back and neck," the lawsuit states.

Wheat left Wal-Mart and went home but said she continued to experience such intense pain that by the next day it was necessary for her to be transported by ambulance to the emergency room. She was admitted and remained in the hospital for nine days for testing and treatment of pain management.

Wheat states that Wal-Mart is responsible for the employee's actions under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

The plaintiff alleges that the employee was operating the equipment at a high rate of speed and failed to properly slow down the moving equipment before approaching the stack of stationary carts.

Wheat believes Wal-Mart's employee is negligent for failing to keep a proper lookout for her safety that a person of ordinary prudence would have maintained. Also, she believes the employee should have maintained a clear and reasonable distance between her and the moving equipment to allow for a safe stop without it colliding into her.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for past and future medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, physical impairment, loss of household services, mental anguish, fear of future disease or condition, cost of medical monitoring and prevention, and pre and post-judgment interest.

Flower Mound attorneys Chad D. Elsey, Chuck Elsey and Vance E. Hendrix of the law firm Elsey and Elsey are representing the plaintiff.

Wal-Mart responded to the complaint, generally denying all the plaintiff's allegations.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell is assigned to the litigation.

Case No 4:10cv00058

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