H-E-B contends no evidence showing cigarette rack posed harm to shopper

By David Yates | Jun 3, 2013

Arguing there is no evidence proving unreasonable risk of harm, H-E-B has filed a motion for summary judgment in litigation brought by Devin Woods, who bonked his head on a cigarette rack while lifting his groceries.

As previously reported, Woods filed suit against the grocery chain on April 12, 2012, in Jefferson County District Court, alleging H-E-B Grocery negligently failed to warn him of the dangerous condition.

H-E-B filed the motion on May 10, stating that “summary judgment is proper because there is no evidence that the cigarette rack posed an unreasonable risk of harm of which HEB had knowledge, nor is there evidence of causation.”

Court records further show that on Oct. 24 a discovery control plan order was entered in the case, slating the suit for trial in June.

A hearing on the motion was slated for June 3 but was reset for sometime in July, according to a courthouse official.

According to the lawsuit, on April 13, 2010, Woods was shopping at the Port Arthur H-E-B. He bent over to pick up his grocery bags from a stocker and hit his head on a cigarette rack as he rose up, resulting in a closed head injury.

In addition to failing to warn him, Woods alleges H-E-B negligently failed to remove the dangerous condition and take corrective action.

Woods is suing for his alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages, plus all court costs.

Beaumont attorney Brett Thomas of Roebuck, Thomas, Roebuck & Adams represents him.

H-E-B is represented by attorney M.C. Carrington of the Beaumont law firm Mehaffy Weber.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. A192-294

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