Mississippi woman sues after tripping on sidewalk crack

Michelle Keahey Jun. 11, 2012, 2:35am


NEW ORLEANS - A Mississippi woman has filed a lawsuit against a Louisiana gas station that claims she suffered injuries in a trip and fall incident as a result of the store's lack of maintenance on its sidewalks.

Diana G. Hartman filed suit against B&B Petroleum d/b/a Gause Chevron and Alterra Specialty Insurance Co. on May 21 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident occurred on July 2, 2011 as Hartman was a passenger in a car driven by her friend who stopped to get gas at the Gause Chevron in Slidell.

Hartman attempted to enter the store and was walking toward the entrance from the parking lot slab when she stepped up on the curb and tripped on the vertical edge of a crack in the sidewalk slabs.

According to the lawsuit, she stumbled forward, hit the front door and fell to the ground causing her to sustain serious injuries. The injuries resulted in renal failure, the suit claims.

Hartman argues that the crack and slab differential was the result of a lack of maintenance, negligent or faulty maintenance on the part of the defendants.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, improper and negligent maintenance of its premises, failing to place adequate warning signs in the area of the crack and elevation differential, failing to properly inspect the premises and to discovery the condition that caused Hartman's fall, for failing to comply with building codes and safety standards, and for failing to take other reasonable steps for the safety of the persons entering the building.

The plaintiff is asking for the court for an award of damages for physical and mental pain and suffering and mental anguish, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, disfigurement, interest, and court costs.

Hartman is represented by A. Scott Tillery of Tillery & Tillery in Metairie. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01310

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