Lawsuit claims disabled man tripped over improperly patched parking lot

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Jan 11, 2013

TYLER - A mentally disabled adult and his mother have filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart, claiming that the store failed to properly patch the parking lot which caused the man to trip and fall.

Patricia Lawson, individually and as next friend of Bryan Lawson, a mentally disabled adult, filed suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Jan. 7 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.

According to the suit, Lawson and her son traveled to Wal-Mart store located in Mineola to shop for groceries and other items. As they were walking in the pedestrian crossing section of the store’s parking lot in order to enter the store, the son tripped and fell, causing him to suffer debilitating injuries, the suit says.

The suit alleges that Wal-Mart had repeatedly patched the parking lot cracks with a black tar-like substance in such a way that caused certain areas of the parking lot to contain dangerous conditions.

The defendant is accused of premises liability, negligence, and negligence per se for failing to warn or place a warning sign which stated a dangerous condition existed which required extra care, failing to correct the dangerous condition that was created by the cracked decaying parking lot and improper patchwork, failing to correct the dangerous condition that was created by the absence of warning sign, and for failing to inspect the premises in order to discover the dangerous condition.

The defendant is also accused of negligence for failing to ensure that the parking lot walkways comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Texas Accessibility Standards.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for medical expenses, physical pain, suffering and mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, bystander damages, and court costs.

Lawson is represented by Matthew B. Flanery and Darren Grant of Grant & Flanery P.C. in Tyler.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 6:13-cv-00033

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