Longview restaurant sued for dangerous grate over storm drain

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 5, 2010, 6:17am

MARSHALL-An Upshur County resident has filed a lawsuit against a Longview restaurant after she tripped on a storm grate and was injured.

Sara Jo Hill filed suit against Fire Mountain Restaurants, doing business as Ryan's Steakhouse, on July 21 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

The incident occurred on Aug. 7, 2008 as the plaintiff was walking through the defendant's parking lot. Hill states she tripped over the grate covering a storm drain and fell. She claims she had over three dozen sutures to repair her arm and other extensive injuries.

Hill argues the defendant should have known of the existence and condition of the gate covering on their storm drain that was in the middle of their parking lot at the restaurant location in Longview.

The defendant is accused of breaching its duty of ordinary care to provide a reasonably safe walking surface and to inspect and discovery any latent defects in those walking surfaces. Hill states the restaurant should have warned her of the dangerous condition.

The defendant is also accused of negligently hiring, supervising, and/or retaining incompetent employees.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for pain and suffering, physical disfigurement, physical impairment, medical expenses, mental anguish, attorney's fees and court costs.

Hill is represented by Jarom Tefteller of Tefteller, Newsom and Tefteller in Gilmer.

Jury trial requested.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv00259

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