Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, October 14, 2019

District court grants motion to add Supervalu to Save-A-Lot slip-and-fall suit

By Russell Boniface | Sep 27, 2017

EAST ST. LOUIS – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois has granted a motion in favor of a grocery store patron to add Supervalu to an ongoing slip-and-fall case against defendant Save-A-Lot Food Stores.

“Although the court is mindful of defendant Moran’s (Moran Foods LLC) argument, it is not apparent that plaintiff’s motion is futile,” Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson wrote in a Sept. 19 order. “The court further notes that Moran has not provided any authority to support its proposition that plaintiff must plead allegations sufficient to pierce the corporate veil.”

In addition to granting the plaintiff’s motion to add Supervalu, the court rendered moot the plaintiff’s motion to expedite a ruling.

As previously reported, Eddie Hobson slipped on standing water in the frozen foods section of Save-A-Lot in St. Louis in September 2015. Hobson filed a complaint on March 24 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Save-A-Lot Food Store, which was later removed to federal court. 

Hobson alleged negligence and sought $50,000 for pain, wage loss and medical treatment expenses.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Phil Gilbert dismissed a motion by Save-A-Lot that the store Hobson allegedly slipped in was actually owned by Moran Foods, and that the negligence was due to its employees. Save-A-Lot argued that being sued for the alleged actions of Moran Foods would “pierce the corporate veil.” The district court rendered the motion moot because the plaintiff amended the complaint to name Moran Foods in the suit on Aug. 23.

Hobson filed a second amended complaint seeking to add as a defendant Supervalu Inc., a corporation that Hobbs claims is an owner, operator and/or franchisor of Save-A-Lot.

Moran Foods filed an objection to the plaintiff’s motion on Sept. 13, contending that that Supervalu was previously the parent corporation of Moran but is no longer the parent corporation and that Hobson’s motion should be denied.

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois