S.C. man sues company for injuries at car wash

WAYNE -- A Moncks Corner, S.C., man is suing Wheeler & Clevenger Oil Company, Inc., claiming he was injured when he attempted to have a car washed at its business.

Phillip Branham claims he was operating a 2011 Toyota that he had rented from Alamo Rent-A-Car on April 10 and was driving on Broadway Street in Fort Gay when he noticed the defendant’s car wash business and decided to have the rental car washed before returning it to Alamo, according to a complaint filed Nov. 8 in Wayne Circuit Court.

Branham claims he entered the parking lot through the designated area and drove into one of the covered car wash bays when, upon entering the car wash bay and before he could come to a stop, the car dropped down and slammed to a halt.

The sudden impact caused Branham to be thrown forward into the dash of the car, according to the suit.

Branham claims upon inspection, it was discovered that the drainage hole was not covered by a drainage grate and the sudden impact was the result of the car falling into the drainage hole.

Because of the incident, the car had to be extricated from the drainage hole by a wrecker company’s tow truck, according to the suit.

Branham claims the defendant had a duty to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition and failed to do so, which caused him injuries.

The defendant violated its duty by failing to place physical restrictions such as chains, wires, caution tape, orange cones, oil drums or barriers on the premises and/or in the drainage holes so as to restrict access, according to the suit, and failed to properly inspect its premises and take precautions so as to make the premises reasonably safe.

Branham is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Neil R. Bouchillon.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James H. Young Jr.

Wayne Circuit Court case number: 12-C-253

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