Wal-Mart removes parking lot injury suit to federal court

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 20, 2015


HUNTINGTON – A lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for injuries sustained in a parking lot has been removed to federal court.

The notice of removal states that the plaintiffs and the defendant are citizens of different states and, although the plaintiffs did not specifically please an amount of damages, it is "facially apparent" from the complaint that the plaintiffs seek damages in excess of $75,000, according to the Nov. 9 notice of removal, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

On Oct. 28, counsel for the defendant corresponded with the plaintiffs' counsel in an attempt to secure a stipulation that the case had no value in excess of $75,000 and the plaintiffs refused to agreed to the stipulation, according to the notice.

"Therefore, without conceding that the plaintiffs are entitled to any damages, which is expressly denied by the defendant, it is facially apparent by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000," the notice states.

On Sept. 18, 2014, Meliessa Weekley and Thomas Weekley were at the Wal-Mart store on U.S. 60 in Huntington and parked their vehicle in the store's parking lot and went into Wal-Mart, according to a complaint filed Oct. 8 in Cabell Circuit Court.

The Weekleys claim when they exited the store and proceeded to their car, Meliessa Weekley fell in the parking lot and suffered severe and permanent injury.

Wal-Mart negligently maintained the parking area and that negligence proximately caused Meliessa Weekley to fall upon the pavement and suffer injuries, according to the suit.

The Weekleys claim Wal-Mart knew or should have known that the parking lot contained hazards to the public and willfully, intentionally and deliberately chose to increase the risk of harm by putting profits ahead of safety of the customers.

Wal-mart negligently failed to repair the pavement of the parking lot, according to the suit.

Thomas Weekley claims he suffered a loss of consortium and suffered the loss of services of his spouse as a result of her injuries.

The defendants' negligence also caused the Weekleys to incur medical expenses and will cause them to incur future medical expenses, according to the suit.

The Weekleys are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They will be represented by Joseph M. Farrell Jr. of Farrell White & Legg PLLC.

Wal-Mart is represented by Heather M. Noel and Sara E. Brown of MacCorkle Lavender PLLC.

The case is assigned to District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:15-cv-14843

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