SuperValu says woman caused her own fall

By Steve Gonzalez | Jul 25, 2008

A water puddle that allegedly collected on an aisle of the Highland SuperValu was obvious so no duty of care was owed to a personal injury defendant, the store said in court papers.

In affirmative defenses filed July 14, SuperValu said plaintiff Nancy Ramirez "assumed the risk of injury by traversing over an open and obvious condition, after first observing the condition and understanding the risks."

Ramirez filed her lawsuit May 21, alleging SuperValu failed to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition.

While at SuperValu on May 28, 2006, Ramirez said she slipped in a puddle of water that accumulated in an aisle inside the store.

She claims SuperValu negligently permitted a dangerous condition to exist, failed to properly remove the water, failed to make reasonable inspections, failed to warn others of the water and failed to properly operate, maintain and manage the store.

SuperValu, however, contends any injuries Ramirez may have suffered were caused by her own negligence because she failed to keep a proper lookout.

The grocery store also argues that Ramirez's negligence constitutes more than 50 percent of the proximate cause of the injury or damage for which recovery is sought and therefore is barred from recovery.

Matthew Glenn of Thompson & McDonald in St. Louis represents SuperValu Inc., based in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Ramirez claims she sustained internal and external injuries to her right knee and leg which caused and continues to cause pain and suffering, medical expenses, disability and disfigurement, lost wages and an increased risk of future injury.

Ramirez is represented by D. Jeffrey Ezra and Shaun Lieser of Collinsville. She is seeking damages in excess of $100,000, plus costs of the suit.

Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack presides over the case.

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