Man says muddy substance caused fall outside KFC

By John O'Brien | Apr 25, 2013

MARTINSBURG – A Berkeley County man is suing the Kentucky Fried Chicken located in Inwood because he says it caused his fall and subsequent broken ankle.

Kenneth and Karen Rinehart filed a personal injury lawsuit April 9 in Berkeley Circuit Court against Inwood Food Service and Allen Properties, doing business as Kentucky Fried Chicken.

In it, the Rineharts allege Kenneth was parked at KFC on April 11, 2011, awaiting his food order. When he walked to the entrance to pick his food up, he says he slipped on a muddy substance.

The awkward fall caused his right leg to go under him, resulting in a broken ankle, he says.

An employee of KFC was using a hose to spray down the sidewalk in front of the entrance, the suit says, but no sign was posted “to alert customers as to the presence of water and other substances on the sidewalk,” the lawsuit says.

The water from the hose combined with a muddy substance to make the walkway extremely slippery, the Rineharts allege.

KFC employees responded to the fall by placing “a cardboard barrier under his body to protect his clothing and body from the muddy substance,” the lawsuit says.

The broken ankle required surgery and caused permanent pain, limitation of movement, future medical expense and loss of enjoyment of life, the suit alleges. Karen Rinehart is making a claim for loss of consortium.

The Rineharts are represented by Joseph R. Ferretti of Hammer, Ferretti and Schiavoni in Martinsburg.

The case has been assigned to Judge Christopher Wilkes.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number 13-C-284.

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