West Virginia Record

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Federal judge denies motion for default judgment in AutoZone lawsuit

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 20, 2016

General court 02

HUNTINGTON – District Judge Robert C. Chambers denied a motion for default judgment in a lawsuit against AutoZone for injuries sustained on its property.

On Oct. 22, the plaintiff, Mary Jane Goodall, filed an application for entry of default judgment and supporting affidavit and a motion for default judgment, according to the order.

Prior to ruling on the application and motion, the defendant filed an answer to the complaint and a response to the application and motion on Oct. 30, and removed the action to district court on Nov. 13,.

“In ruling upon the application and motion for default judgment, the court recognizes that the state court never entered default against defendant for its original failure to answer,” the order states. “Thus, pursuant to Rule 55(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the application and motion for default judgment are premature.”

Accordingly, the application and motion for default judgment were denied.

On Sept. 2, 2013, Mary Jane Goodall was at AutoZone and attempted to enter the store when she tripped on the concrete block stop located in the parking space and fell to the ground, causing severe and permanent eye and head injuries, according to a complaint filed July 10 in Cabell Circuit Court and removed to federal court on Nov. 13.

Goodall claims AutoZone failed to maintain the parking lot within industry standards by utilizing the concrete parking block and failed to maintain the parking lot or parking space in a reasonably safe condition.

The defendant violated industry standards by limiting protruding obstacles in a perceived pedestrian pathway and failed to warn Goodall of the danger presented by the protruding obstacle/concrete parking block.

Goodall claims as a result of the defendant’s negligence, she tripped on the resulting hazard created by the protruding obstacle/concrete parking block and fell while attempting to enter the premises.

As a further direct and proximate result of the defendant’s negligence, Goodall sustained serious injuries resulting in a severed right cornea, penetration of the globe and hemorrhage in the right eye, leading to loss of vision and light perception in the right eye, according to the suit.

Goodall is seeking compensatory damages with pre-judgment interest. She is being represented by Jon D. Hoover of Hoover Andrews PLLC.

AutoZone is represented by Arie M. Spitz, W. Henry Jernigan Jr. and T. Matthew Lockhart of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:15-cv-15005

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Organizations in this Story

Dinsmore & Shohl LLPHoover Andrews PLLCDinsmore & Shohl LLP