Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Wal-Mart, Subway deny liability in slip and fall suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Dec 1, 2015

Wal-Mart and Subway both allege a woman caused her own injuries when she fell on a slippery floor.

Karen Hartline filed the lawsuit on Aug. 13 against Wal-Mart Inc., ZulfiQar Haider and Zulfi LLC, doing business as Subway Sandwiches and Salads.

According to the complaint, Hartline claims she slipped on liquid on the floor of the Subway, causing her to fall and become injured.

She alleges the defendants were careless and negligent for failing to maintain a safe facility, clean up the liquid on the floor, warn Hartline about the danger, provide slip guards or a slip-resistant surface, inspect the floor, comply with state and federal regulations and exercise care.

Zulfi and ZulfiQar filed a joint answer to the complaint on Oct. 13 through attorney James Gottschalk of St. Louis. They argue that the plaintiff contributed to her own alleged injuries by failing to keep a careful lookout for her own safety, failing to observe an open and obvious condition allegedly existing at the time of the alleged occurrence and failing to mitigate her damages.

Hartline responded to Subway’s affirmative defenses on Oct. 20 through attorney George Albers of Roth Law Offices in Granite City. She denies each and every allegations raised against her.

Wal-Mart also answered the complaint on Oct. 13 through attorney James DeFranco of DeFranco & Bradley in Fairview Heights, denying liability.

Wal-Mart filed a crossclaim against the co-defendants, arguing that if it is found liable, then it is entitled to contribution from Zulfi and ZulfiQar “for their failure to prevent the spill, assuming that it came from one of its customers, or failed to detect it.”

Hartline also responded to Wal-Mart’s affirmative defenses on Oct. 20, denying each and every allegation.

She seeks damages of more than $150,000, plus costs.

A case management conference has been scheduled for Dec. 16 at 9 a.m.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-1028

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