Manager didn't work at store when woman was injured, Lowe's says

By Kelly Holleran | Jun 7, 2010

CHARLESTON -– A Lowe's manager named as a defendant in a lawsuit a Logan County couple filed against him and the store did not even work at the store at the time the woman allegedly sustained her injuries, the store claims.

CHARLESTON -– A Lowe's manager named as a defendant in a lawsuit a Logan County couple filed against him and the store did not even work at the store at the time the woman allegedly sustained her injuries, the store claims.

Linda Cline originally filed a lawsuit against only Lowe's, but later amended the complaint to add defendants The Stanley Works, Stanley Access Technologies and manager David Crow and to include her husband, Gary Cline, as a co-plaintiff.
Lowe's claims Linda Cline added the defendants so the case could remain in Logan Circuit Court and so the store could not remove it to federal court, where plaintiffs find it more difficult to win lawsuits.
"These defendants submit that David Craw was improperly added as defendant by plaintiffs for the sole purpose of attempting to avoid this action being removed to this Court; Mr. Craw not even being employed at the store where the alleged incident forming the basis of this action occurred at the time of that accident despite any assertion by plaintiffs to the contrary," Lowe's removal to federal court states.
Linda Cline's actions did not prevent the defendants from filing a notice of removal in U.S. District Court, where they claim her complaint should be heard because she seeks more than $75,000 and because she is resident of a different state than Lowe's and Stanley.
In her complaint, Linda Cline claims she visited a Lowe's located in Logan on Dec. 9, 2007, but encountered a malfunctioning entrance door upon her arrival.
"That Plaintiff stood at the automatic doors at the Lowe's entrance, waiting for them to open," the complaint says. "When the doors did not open, plaintiff pushed slightly on one of the doors. The door then opened very quickly , violently knocking plaintiff to the ground."
Because of her fall, Linda Cline claims she sustained an acute midshaft humerous fracture, a left shoulder injury and a left elbow injury, cuts, bruises, constant pain and soreness in her left shoulder and arm, a nervous condition and nightmares. In addition, she incurred severe physical pain and suffering, severe mental anguish and suffering and permanent physical impairment; lost her capacity to enjoy life; endured annoyance and inconvenience; and incurred medical costs, according to the complaint.
In the Clines' amended complaint, Gary Cline claims he lost his wife's society, companionship and consortium.
"That plaintiff Gary Cline has spent many hours transporting his wife to various medical clinics and hospitals," the suit states. "Additionally, Gary Cline has been required to provide medical assistance within his abilities to his wife, Linda Cline, as well as performing an inordinate amount of household duties to his wife's injuries."
Linda Cline blames Lowe's for causing her injuries, saying the store negligently failed to properly maintain and repair the doors at its front entrance, failed to warn the public of any defects in the doors and failed to conduct a reasonable inspection of its front entrance.

In her amended complaint, Linda Cline also blames Stanley for the incident, saying it breached its duty to provide a product fit for its intended purpose and failed to exercise reasonable care in the design of the doors.

In both her original and amended complaints, Cline sought an unspecified judgment, plus economic and non-economic damages, general and compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Lowe's denies or says it has no knowledge of the Clines' allegations and says the couple should receive no money.

"This defendant says that plaintiff's injuries and damages, if any, were caused by the negligence of plaintiff Linda Cline, which negligence is imputed to Gary Cline," Lowe's answer says.

Pamela A. Lambert of Gilbert will be representing Cline.

Lawrence E. Morhous of Brewster, Morhous, Cameron, Caruth, Moore, Kersey and Stafford will be representing Lowe's and Craw.

Stephnen J. Dalesio of Davies, McFarland and Carroll in Pittsburgh will be representing Stanley.

U.S. District Court case number: 2:10-cv-489

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