CHARLESTON – A suit in which a man blames Wal-Mart, PepsiCo and Frito-Lay for injuries after an incident involving an in-store display of chips and salsa is headed to federal court.
On Feb. 2, 2013, Arthur Buckalew was a patron lawfully walking along the premises near inside fixture displays of various merchandise, including Tostito’s corn chips and salsa, according to a complaint filed Jan. 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court. Wal-Mart filed to have it removed to federal court on Feb. 29.
Buckalew claims the corn chips and salsa display was in a stacked manner that was unsafe and dangerous.
It was Wal-Mart’s duty to exercise ordinary care and caution in the ownership, management, maintenance and control of the displaying of merchandise, according to the suit.
Buckalew claims Wal-Mart failed to maintain proper control over the display and improperly displayed the merchandise without properly securing the display of stacked Tostito’s corn chips and salsa containers.
Wal-Mart also improperly used equipment in the area of the stacked Tostito’s corn chips and salsa in an unsafe manner without maintaining the safety of its patrons in the area, according to the suit.
Buckalew claims as a result of Wal-Mart’s negligent, careless, wrongful and unlawful conduct, he fell and was injured.
As a proximate result of the condition of the spilled product causing debris that injured Buckalew, the defendant is liable to him and he received both temporary and permanent physical injuries to his body, according to the suit.
Buckalew claims Wal-Mart failed to ensure that its customers, including the one that collided with the Tostito’s corn chips and salsa display, were capable of safe operation of the motorized shopping cart on its premises and failed to ensure the safe operation of the motorized shopping cart on its premises.
Wal-Mart negligently allowed a customer to take possession of the motorized cart and to operate it in the store, without taking any precautions to determine if the customer was trained in the operation of the cart, according to the suit.
Buckalew claims Wal-Mart, Frito-Lay and PepsiCo had an agreement whereby Frito-Lay and PepsiCo established displays of products and Wal-Mart provided and/or provides space to sell the products.
Buckalew is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Clayton G. Anderson of The Masters Law Firm LC.
Wal-mart is represented by Heather M. Noel and Sara E. Brown of MacCorkle Lavender PLLC.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 2:16-cv-01940