Justices review Parkdale Mall’s summary judgment win in slip & fall suit

By David Yates | Apr 22, 2013

The Texas Ninth District Court of Appeals is reviewing whether a local judge erred in granting Parkdale Mall’s motion for summary judgment in a slip-and-fall lawsuit. 

As previously reported, Beaumont resident Theresa Wilson filed a lawsuit June 8, 2010, in Jefferson County District Court against CBL & Associates, doing business as Parkdale Mall, claiming she slipped and fell on a spill while a custodian worked nearby.

Court records show that on March 1, 2012, CBL filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing there was no evidence to support Wilson’s claims.

Five months later, Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, granted the motion, prompting Wilson to file an appeal on Nov. 20.

The case was submitted on briefs on April 22.

On appeal, Wilson argues the court erred and that she produced “more than a scintilla of evidence,” legal briefs state.

Conversely, CBL contends, “The trial court properly granted summary judgment because there is no evidence CBL had … actual knowledge of a premises defect to impose liability.”

In her suit, Wilson claims she encountered a wet floor in front of the Sprint store as she walked through the Beaumont mall. After falling on the floor, Wilson noticed a custodial employee standing nearby and questioned why the employee hadn’t cleaned the spill, according to the complaint.

“The custodian responded by saying the spill was not, ‘in her area,’” the suit states.

Although it is unclear if they are the same person, a Theresa Wilson won a $30,000 verdict against Chick-fil-A in 2008 for injuries she received.

In that case, Theresa Wilson had journeyed to the Chick-fil-A nestled inside the food court at Parkdale Mall on Oct. 7, 2003, just a few minutes before the restaurant opened. But before she could order, Wilson’s feet came up from underneath her, causing her to hit the floor.

Wilson is seeking an unspecified judgment, plus pre-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jonathan C. Juhan of Beaumont represents her.

Germer Gertz attorney Karen Bennett represents CBL.

Case No. D187-035

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