Slip and fall case against Aramark removed to federal court

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 27, 2008, 10:15am

Aramark Uniform Services removed a Madison County civil complaint to federal court in East St. Louis arguing that there is a complete diversity of citizenship between parties.

Represented by Matthew S. Hendricks of St. Louis, Aramark also argues that the amount in controversy in a personal injury suit originally filed in Madison County on Feb. 22 is more than $75,000.

The plaintiff, Deborah Sladek, claims she was working at the Edwardsville Motomart on Feb. 1, 2007, when she tripped over a floor mat causing permanent injures to her right knee.

According to Sladek, Aramark supplied, delivered, inspected and cleaned Motomart's floor mats.

Sladek claims Aramark had previously been notified by customers that its floor mats would curl or become wavy which caused a slip and fall hazard.

According to Sladek, Motomart even went as far as informing Aramark that it should not deliver defective mats to its store.

"Aramark tested the mats at issue and acknowledged that the curling edge issue was caused by the mats adversely reacting to Aramark's wash formula," Sladek's complaint states.

She claims Aramark negligently supplied a defective floor mat, failed to inspect the floor mat and failed to warn Motomart of the defective floor mat.

Sladek claims her knee injury has caused her to sustain great pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages.

Hendricks claims Sladek's lawyer, Matthew Chapman of Granite City, has informed him that her medical bills already exceed $40,000 and that they will be seeking damages in excess of $75,000.

Hendricks also claims that Aramark is a limited liability corporation organized under the laws of Delaware with its principal place of business in California.

He argues that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a L.L.C. is a citizen "of every state of which any member is a citizen."

Aramark denies negligence and argues that Sladek's injuries were either caused or contributed to be caused by her own negligence, fault or assumption of risk.

Aramark also argues that Sladek's claims are barred in whole or in part by her failure to mitigate damages or failure to exercise reasonable care to avoid or minimize those damages.

The case has been assigned to District Judge William Stiehl.

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