Woman sues Wal-Mart after falling over bench

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Mar 12, 2012

Dennis Bettison of Bettison, Doyle, Apffel & Guarino

GALVESTON - After falling over a bench at a Galveston Wal-Mart, Tonie Sharpley has filed suit against the store and its manager.

Sharpley filed suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Wal-Mart Stores of Texas LLC and store manager Travis Grasha on March 6 in Galveston County District Court.

According to the original complaint, Sharpley was making her way through the women's clothing department on Jan. 16 when she tripped over a bench.

The plaintiff says she tripped and fell over a portion of the seat that backed up to a wall, but portions extended out from the wall into the walkway.

"The plaintiff tripped over the end of the bench where it protruded out beyond a corner and into the area where customers walked," the original petition says.

"As the plaintiff tripped, she went over the back of the bench, causing her to strike the floor with great force and violence, resulting in serious bodily injuries."

Sharpley claims she suffered a broken rib, broken elbow and severe injury to her back.

She was treated at both the University of Texas Medical Branch and Mainland Medical Center, according to the complaint.

The defendants are blamed for creating a dangerous condition, failing to inspect the premises, failing to make corrections, failing to warn the complainant, failing to provide a safe place and failing to properly supervise employees.

Consequently, Sharpley seeks unspecified monetary damages.

She is represented by Bettison, Doyle, Apffel & Guarino in Galveston.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner.

Case No. 12-cv-362

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