Target wants personal injury suit moved to federal court
Jessica M. Karmasek Apr. 25, 2012, 10:35am
WHEELING - Popular retailer Target Corp. has asked that a personal injury lawsuit filed against it in Ohio Circuit Court be moved to federal court.
Minnesota-based Target filed its seven-page notice of removal in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia in Wheeling Monday.
Plaintiffs Marj Scarberry and husband Samuel, both of whom are Marshall County residents, filed their lawsuit against Target in March.
Scarberry said she was shopping at the retailer's Triadelphia, Ohio County, store in March 2010 when she was caused to "violently slip and fall on an unsafe, dangerous and unmaintained walkway floor aisleway."
She argued that Target "carelessly, recklessly and negligently" failed to exercise a duty of reasonable care owed to her, thereby causing her injuries, damages and losses.
In particular, Scarberry said the retailer failed to maintain, inspect and/or adequately clean the aisleway/walkway floor surface area.
According to her original complaint, Scarberry suffered injuries to her head, back, "extremities," "body chemistry," "psyche," muscle tissues and fascia, along with other internal injuries.
Target has denied that it had actual and/or "constructive notice" and/or knowledge of any hazardous, dangerous or unsafe conditions with respect to the aisle area at issue.
In its filing this week, the retailer argues that the lawsuit should be heard in federal court because there is a "diversity of citizenship" between it and the plaintiffs and, more notably, the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.
"Although Plaintiffs did not specify the total amount of damages they seek to recover, it is clear, given the totality of their claims, that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional minimum of $75,000," Jennifer Z. Cain and W. Scott Evans of Wheeling and Charleston law firm Jackson Kelly PLLC wrote for Target.
"Plaintiffs claim to have incurred 'divers and sundry expenses' for Plaintiff Marj Scarberry's medical care and allege that those expenses will continue in the future due to the permanent and lasting nature of her injuries."
They continued, "Plaintiffs also allege that Plaintiff Marj Scarberry has sustained lost wages and a diminution in her future earning capacity and that she has suffered a diminution in her ability and capacity to care for herself and to enjoy a normal life, all of which will continue into the future.
"Additionally, Plaintiff Samuel Scarberry alleges loss of consortium due to his wife's permanent and lasting injuries."
"Further proof," the lawyers argue, that the Scarberrys' claims exceed the jurisdictional minimum is evidenced by their Jan. 12, 2011 settlement demand of $100,000.