'Unreasonably dangerous' water puddle basis of suit against grocery store

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Jun 24, 2009

GALVESTON � After hurting his left knee while shopping at a Friendswood H-E-B store more than a year ago, a Brazoria County man is suing the San Antonio-based supermarket chain in Galveston County District Court.

Michael J. Cave's personal injury lawsuit argues that the defendant should have cleaned up a puddle of water on which the plaintiff slipped on Feb. 9, 2008.

"The water on the floor in the store posed an unreasonable risk of harm to the plaintiff who had no notice of the water before it caused him to slip and fall," court papers say.

Prior to the alleged incident, Cave was pushing a shopping cart in the aisle between the hot food preparation area and a row of fountain drink dispensers when he passed by a rack carrying dripping wet items.

The suit states the droplets accumulated into a puddle.

"The plaintiff was unaware of the water and stepped in the puddle, causing his foot to slip out from under him and his left knee to strike the floor sharply," it says.

"As a result of the twisting motion and impact of the fall, the plaintiff's left knee was seriously injured and he has suffered pain, anguish, and economic damages."

H-E-B is ultimately accused of negligently placing the leaking rack in an area of traffic, failing to properly inspect and maintain the flooring area to discover the water, forgetting to warn the plaintiff of the dangerous condition posed by the puddle, and improperly cleaning its floors.

Consequently, Cave seeks restitution for his medical expenses and lost wages as well as a jury trial.

He is represented by Friendswood attorney David L. Thornton.

The litigation has been assigned to Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss.

Case No. 09CV1006

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