Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Dec. 10, 2013, 8:16am

A Wal-Mart manager blamed in a man’s trip and fall lawsuit has moved to dismiss the complaint claiming she wasn’t even at work when the alleged incident occurred.

According to the complaint filed Oct. 8, Joseph Govero claims he was shopping at the Godfrey Wal-Mart on Aug. 13, 2012, when he tripped and fell on the edge of a floor mat, injuring his knee, neck and back.

The defendants were blamed in the lawsuit for failing to properly maintain floor mats, failing to perform proper inspections of its floor mats, failing to warn of the dangerous condition of the floor mats, failing to place a warning sign of the dangerous condition, used a floor mat without a beveled edge and used a floor mat that was worn.

Defendant Margaret Hunt filed her motion to dismiss on Dec. 2, claiming she is not liable and Govero failed to establish an existence of duty she owed the plaintiff.

She also alleges that she was on vacation and wasn’t present at the store when the alleged incident occurred; therefore, she could not have warned Govero of the alleged dangerous condition at the store.

Hunt is blamed for selecting the location, type and placement of floor mats, but she claims she didn’t have the authority to replace or move the floor mat in question.

Hunt argues she is not liable because she does not own the property or exercise dominion over the location.

Wal-Mart Stores filed its answer denying the allegations against it and demanding a jury on Dec. 2 through attorney James E. DeFranco and Ginny L. Huot of DeFrano & Bradley in Fairview Heights.

It also filed three affirmative defenses saying that any injuries Govero may have sustained were caused by his own failure to keep a proper lookout and exercise due care for his own safety.

Govero seeks a judgment of more than $100,000.

Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge scheduled a motion hearing for Dec. 20 at 9 a.m.

Michael P. Glisson of Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson in Alton represents Govero.

DeFranco & Bradley also represents Hunt.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 13-L-1690

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