Parkdale Mall seeks summary judgment in trip & fall lawsuit

David Yates Jul. 17, 2012, 3:21am

Parkdale Mall has filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing there is no evidence that its negligence caused plaintiff Bulinda Mathis to trip and fall over a door jam while shopping.

As previously reported, Mathis' suit was filed June 23, 2011, in Jefferson County District Court.

A year later, CBL & Associates (doing business as Parkdale Mall) filed a no evidence motion for summary judgment on June 15, arguing that enough time for discovery has passed and yet the plaintiff has failed to produce any evidence of negligence.

Mathis responded to the motion on July 10, requesting a continuance in the case while she attempts to locate a witness and individuals with actual knowledge of the trip hazard, court papers say.

Court records show that on May 11 CBL filed its second amended answer, asserting a defense of contributory negligence.

"Defendant denies that plaintiff's alleged injuries ... were caused by the negligent acts of defendant," the answer states. "To the contrary, defendant asserts plaintiff was guilty of ... negligence ... (which was) the sole cause of any injuries."

The lawsuit alleges that on Nov. 11, 2009, Mathis was entering Parkdale Mall in Beaumont when she "tripped on a piece of metal that was sticking up from the door jam, causing her to fall to the floor."

Mathis alleges Parkdale negligently failed to inspect and maintain its premises and warn shoppers of the existence of the door jam.

She is suing for his alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages, plus all court costs.

Beaumont attorney Ryan White of Loncar & Associates represents her.

Attorney Mark Lambert of the Beaumont law firm Benckenstein, Norvell & Nathan represents Parkdale.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. A190-399

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