Wal-Mart wants woman's slip-and-fall suit dismissed

By Kelly Holleran | Jan 26, 2009

CHARLESTON – Wal-Mart has requested the court dismiss a lawsuit against it in which a Kanawha County woman alleges she fell on clear liquid in the store.

Nancy Sayre and her husband, John Sayre, claim they were shopping in the Cross Lanes Wal-Mart on Aug. 3 when Nancy Sayre slipped in water or "some other clear, wet substance left standing on the floor in the aisle."

The liquid had been left on the floor for enough time that Wal-Mart's employees had the opportunity to remove it, according to the complaint filed Nov. 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Because of her fall, Nancy Sayre claims she fractured her right distal radius, which required surgery and physical therapy, and endured great pain and suffering.

She also lost wages, suffered from a loss of enjoyment of life and incurred medical expenses, according to the complaint.

John Sayre suffered a loss of consortium, the suit states.

Wal-Mart contends the case should be dismissed because the Sayres fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

The store also denies there was water on the floor on which Nancy Sayre slipped and fell.

Wal-Mart claims it had no control over the incident and that the slip did not occur because of its own negligence.

"The injuries, if any, resulting from the occurrence upon which this Complaint is based are the result of a pure accident and none of the parties were negligent; therefore, none of the parties can recover from this Defendant," the store's motion to dismiss states.

The couple is seeking unspecified damages, in an amount sufficient to compensate them for their damages set forth, plus costs, attorney's fees, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

At the request of Wal-Mart, the case was moved to federal court because it is resident of a different state than the Sayres and because the Sayres are requesting more than $75,000.

The Sayres are represented by Scott H. Kaminski of Balgo and Kaminski in Charleston.

Wal-Mart is represented by Tanya Hunt Handley and John L. MacCorkle of MacCorkle Lavender and Sweeney in Charleston.

U.S. District Court case number: 2:08-1447

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