Macy's seeks to dismiss injury suit involving Alton store; Judge enters protective order on med records

By Ann Maher | Sep 2, 2014


Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian has entered a protective order for a personal injury plaintiff's healthcare records.

On Aug. 21, Matoesian wrote that discovery of the plaintiff's medical records should be "limited to the body parts involved in this litigation." Those body parts include right arm and left shoulder, he wrote.

Janet Taylor sued Macy's in April claiming she broke her arm after falling on a plastic advertisement at an Alton store.

The protective order also commands that information generated as part of discovery should not be disclosed to any third party, other than those directly related to the case.

In the meantime, defendants Macy's, Inc. and Macy's Retail Holdings deny Taylor's allegations.

Macy's, Inc. further claims that it is not a proper legal entity and it does not operate the Alton store.

"Therefore, this Defendant...cannot be held responsible to Plaintiff for any damages," wrote attorney John P. Kemppainen, Jr. of Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch and Champion in St. Louis for Macy's, Inc.

Kemppainen also representes Macy's Retail Holdings.

Both companies answered the suit saying, among other things, that the plaintiff failed to keep a careful lookout, failed to pay attention, failed to heed a condition which was open and obvious and proceeded in the face of that open and obvious condition.

Taylor, represented by Lanny Darr of Schrempf, Kelly, Napp and Darr in Alton, claims she was shopping at the Macy’s in the Alton Square mall, when she slipped on a thin plastic advertisement that was lying face down near a tile walkway. Because of her fall, Taylor says she suffered a compound fracture to her right arm, which required surgery.

She blames Macy’s for causing her fall, saying its employees knew that a dangerous slip hazard existed, failed to inspect the area to discover the danger, failed to barricade the area and failed to warn of the fall hazard.

Taylor is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

An order Matoesian signed on July 11 indicates that Macy's Inc.'s motion to dismiss is "passed" until conclusion of discovery regarding the proper corporate entity,

On Aug. 27, Darr filed a motion to compel defendants to comply with a June 27 discovery request.

"That both defendants filed objections to plaintiff's interrogatories and request for production filed by plaintiff pursuant to Supreme Court Rules 213 and 214," Darr wrote. "Plaintiff maintains that defendant's objections are not supported by law or fact."

He wrote that attempts at resolving the discovery dispute have been unsuccessful

"Notwithstanding the efforts of plaintiff's counsel, defenants have failed to withdraw their objections and, or contact plaintiff's counsel to discuss the objections," Darr wrote. "Accordingly, it was necessary to file this pleading."

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-615.

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