BELLEVILLE - A Starbucks customer claims she was injured by a hydraulic door closer when exiting one of its stores.
Darla Vielweber, of Mascoutah, alleges she suffered injuries when leaving one of the chain's coffee shops on Central Park Driver in O'Fallon.
The plaintiff filed suit Nov. 5 against the company in St. Clair County Circuit Court and is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.
"We’re aware of this lawsuit and are investigating this matter," Starbucks spokesperson Jory Mendes told the Record.
Vielweber, who states the incident happened during a visit to the coffee shop on Dec. 9, 2017, claims the company "owed a duty of reasonable care to Plaintiff as an invitee or licensee, to maintain its premises free from any defect."
The lawsuit continues, "The door's metal hydraulic closer was not adequately attached to the door and door frame and presented an unreasonable risk of harm to persons on the premises."
In her claim for negligence, Myers alleges that Starbucks "permitted the metal hydraulic closer to remain in a condition the Defendant knew or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known that the closure was unreasonably dangerous to persons on the premises."
The company is also accused of failing to warn the plaintiff or repair the alleged defective door prior to her visit. Its employees failed to place any signs revealing the defect, according to the lawsuit.
"Plaintiff has sustained severe and permanent injuries," it is claimed, with the complaint adding that these were caused to "numerous parts of her body and nervous system." It is further claimed that the disability she has experienced will remain for the rest of her life.
Myers, who is seeking more than $50,000 in damages, has "lost great sums of earnings and will incur further loss in the future." She has spent money on hospital and medical expenses, the suit states.
The plaintiff is represented by Nathan Lanter of Nelson & Nelson of Belleville.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 2019-L-775.