After tripping over a mat at a New Orleans commissary, Ernest Watson Jr. filed suit against the United States on May 23 in federal court in New Orleans.

The trip and fall incident occurred on May 31, 2009 as Watson was walking along a rug or mat located in the produce department of the commissary. He states he tripped on a wrinkle/fold in the mat, causing him to fall flat, face down to the floor "knocking the wind out of him."

Watson injured his right hand and arm, left knee and thigh and rib cage, the suit claims.

The New Orleans Commissary is organized by the Defense Commissary Agency which is a component of the United States Department of Defense. The Commissary is accused of negligence for failing to keep the floors in a reasonably safe condition, having knowledge of the hazardous condition prior to the trip and fall accident and failing to warn Watson of the condition. The defendant is also accused of negligence for failing to implement safety checks and inspections, failing to determine source of hazardous conditions and undertake the means necessary to keep the conditions from recurring.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and anguish, permanent physical impairment, interest and court costs.

Watson is represented by Marcus J. Poulliard of Frischhertz, Poulliard, Frischhertz,
Impastato in New Orleans.

U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-01208

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