MARTINSBURG - A Berkeley County woman is suing a furniture company because she says one of its customers dumped furniture all over the road and caused her accident.

Barbara Hoffmaster filed the lawsuit Oct. 20 in Berkeley Circuit Court against Schewel's Furniture Co. and Nathaniel Bland. The alleged incident took place Dec. 17, 2005.

"Employees and/or agents of Schewel's Furniture Store overloaded the furniture onto the Bland vehicle in a manner which Mr. Bland knew or should have known to be unsafe for transportation on the public highways," the complaint says.

"Shortly after leaving the premises ... with his truck overloaded with the furniture placed onto the vehicle by the Schewel's employee and/or agents, Mr. Bland was traveling north on Interstate 81 ... when the furniture spilled from his truck all over several lanes of Interstate 81, causing Ms. Hoffmaster's vehicle to collide with another vehicle that was forced to stop to avoid the spilled furniture."

Hoffmaster says she sustained serious and permanent injuries in the wreck and that the employees of Schewel's should have known that would happen.

Hoffmaster adds that she has incurred more than $88,000 in medical bills and charges both defendants with negligence.

Schewels is accused of negligently overloading the vehicle, failing to prevent Bland from driving on the highway, failing to properly secure the furniture and aiding and abetting the negligence of Bland.

Hoffmaster seeks compensation for her medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of the enjoyment of life.

Mark Jenkinson of Burke, Schultz, Harman and Jenkinson is representing Hoffmaster.

Judge David Sanders has been assigned the case.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number 06-C-764

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