Judge sets aside $183k default judgment in slip & fall case

By David Yates | Feb 3, 2011

A Beaumont judge recently set aside an $183,614 default judgment award in a slip-and-fall case against the grocery store El Rancho.

In August 2009, the Southeast Texas Record reported that Carroll Johnson filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County District Court against El Rancho, claiming he injured his shoulder after falling on spilled cooking oil at a grocery store.

In his suit, Johnson claims he was shopping for groceries at the store located on 1049 Stadium Road in Port Arthur on Aug. 4, 2007, when he slipped on a gallon bottle of Crisco Oil that had been spilled on the floor.

El Rancho never responded to the suit and on Dec. 20 Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, entered the final default judgment award, awarding Johnson $183,614.46 for his mental anguish, medical expenses, lost wages and court costs, plus accrued interest, court records show.

On Jan. 12, Saqib Wadud, the owner of the El Rancho, filed a motion to set aside the default judgment award, arguing that he had never been properly served and notified of the litigation.

Judge Wortham granted the motion that same day, court records show.

Carolyn Wiedenfeld of Beaumont represents Johnson.

The defendant is represented by Beaumont attorney Ronnie Turner of the Provost Umphrey Law Firm.

Case No. A184-613

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