J.C. Penney denied summary judgment in $1M trip and fall suit

David Yates Sep. 14, 2015, 5:10pm


J.C. Penney recently had its motion for summary judgment denied in a suit brought after a customer tripped and fell on the sidewalk outside its store.

On April 15, 2014 Janice Smith filed suit against J.C. Penney and Parkdale Mall in Jefferson County District Court.

Smith claims she sustained injuries after tripping and falling on a defective storm drain on a sidewalk outside of the JCPenney department store, at Parkdale Mall in Beaumont, on Jan. 19, 2013.

Court records show J.C. Penney filed a motion for summary judgment on Nov. 24, 2014, asserting Smith can’t prove the company had any actual knowledge of the dangerous condition.

Smith’s suit alleges the dangerous storm drain was raised up with gaps large enough to rip the plaintiff’s shoe, causing the fall that caused Smith serious injures to her knee and mouth.

J.C. Penney further argued Smith did not produce any evidence to sustain her burden and asked the court to dismiss her claims against it with prejudice.

On July 15 Judge Kent Walston, 58th District Court, denied the motion, court records show

Smith is seeking $1 million in damages, interest and court costs.

Beaumont attorneys Robert L. Florance IV and Nathan M. Brandimarte of Orgain Bell and Tucker LLP are representing her in the case.

J.C. Penny is represented by Michael McGown, attorney for the Beaumont law firm Benckenstein, Norvell, and Nathan.

Jefferson County District Court Case No. A195-611

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