Boat display in Schnuck's aisle causes customer to trip, suit says

Andrea Dearden Apr. 17, 2012, 1:32am

A Belleville woman has filed a lawsuit against a grocery store and its managers after allegedly tripping over a display.

Patricia Brian filed the lawsuit March 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Schnuck Markets Inc., Michael McGinnis and Donald Lugge.

Brian says the alleged injury happened in June 2010 while she was shopping for groceries at the Schnuck store on North Belt West in Belleville. She says a display created in the design of a boat had been placed at the intersection of two aisles.

As Brian was shopping, she says she tripped on pieces of wood or crate material that was "protruding into the aisle from the bottom of the display." The customer hurt her arm and shoulder in the fall -- significant injuries that required surgery and other extensive medical care, according to the complaint.

Brian accuses Schnuck Markets, manager Michael McGinnis and assistant manager Donald Lugge of negligence for allegedly creating a tripping hazard by placing a display that blocked part of the aisleway and for failing to warn shoppers of the potential danger. Brian is asking for more than $50,000 in damages from each of the defendants for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent pain, disability and impairment.

Attorney Richard E. Boyle of Belleville is representing Brian. They demand a jury trial.

St. Clair County Circuit Court, Case No. 12-L-0163

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