SE Texas Record

Sunday, December 8, 2019

It pays to pay attention

Our View

By Rhealene May Dampil | Oct 22, 2019

Law money 01

Across the alley from the Alamo

Lived a pinto pony and a Navajo

Who used to bake frijoles in cornmeal dough

For the people passin’ by

As recounted in a chart-topping hit by the Mills Brothers in 1947, the curbside food service operated by the Navajo and his pony didn’t last long. “One day, they went a- walkin’ along the railroad track,” which is not a wise thing to do when you’re preoccupied and “not a-lookin’.” Sure enough: “Toot, too, they never came back.”

Soon after, however, a real-live San Antonio native named George W. Church claimed that prime location as his own, opening his first Church’s Fried Chicken To-Go across the street from the Alamo in 1952. 

Nearly seven decades later, Church’s is still “bringin’ that down home flavor” to customers all across the country – and, like most fast food chains, attracting its share of scammers looking to get rich with lawsuits for injuries allegedly incurred on the premises of their franchise outlets.

Whether she was a-lookin’ or not, Mozhgan Shamsi claims to have fallen and injured herself on a greasy floor at the Church’s Chicken on Westheimer Road in Houston this past June. Three months later, she filed suit against the franchise in Harris County District Court, seeking up to $1 million in damages.

Shamsi says she slipped on the floor as she was entering the restaurant, fell, and broke her right arm. Granted her wing is more valuable than the ones sold at Church’s, but, still, a million bucks seems kind of pricey for a broken arm.

There are a number of curious characteristics common to suspicious slip-and-fall lawsuits, one of which is the absence of other alleged victims at the same location at the same time. Surely, if the floor at the Westheimer Road Church’s was such a hidden hazard on the day Shamsi had her accident, other patrons would have slipped, too. 

Where are the other victims? Why didn’t anyone else slip and fall? Could it be that Mozhgan Shamsi was the only one not a-lookin’?

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