QT attendants blamed for not helping handicapped customer at gas pump

Steve Gonzalez Sep. 8, 2007, 6:45am

Lois Nelson filed suit against Quik Trip (QT) in Madison County Circuit Court Aug. 14, claiming she sustained injuries at the East Alton location on Aug. 26, 2005.

Nelson claims she was trying to pump gas into her car, however, the pump would not permit her to dispense gasoline.

"At that time, Plaintiff had hanging from the rear-view mirror of her vehicle a disabled person's hanger issued by the Illinois Secretary of State," the complaint states.

According to the complaint, Nelson is legally deaf, but is able to hear some noises and has a valid Illinois driver's license.

Nelson claims she pressed the assistance button on the gasoline pump, waited and received no response other than static. She claims she pushed the button two more times and waited without anyone coming out to the pump to provide assistance.

She claims after receiving no help, she removed the nozzle and hung it up and began to walk inside for assistance, however, she tripped and violently fell to the concrete surface.

"Illinois law specifically imposed a duty upon Defendant to dispense gasoline at the request of persons, such as plaintiff, exhibiting a disabled person's hanger," the complaint states.

Nelson claims QT breached its statutory duty in failing to assist her in dispensing gasoline when she pressed the assistance button.

According to Nelson, she sustained fractures to her left tibia and fibula, an abrasion to her left arm, exacerbation of a prior shoulder injury due to the use of a walker and crutches from the leg fracture, a consequent injury to her back, all of which caused pain, weakness, restriction of movement, numbness and other limitations of the use of the nerves, muscles and soft tissues is her arm, back and left leg.

She also claims she became liable for medical expenses and her ability to enjoy life has been and will be severely lessened, diminished, damaged and impaired.

Represented by James Parrot of St. Louis, Nelson is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

07 L 725

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