West Virginia Record

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Another slip-and-fall story that doesn’t add up

Our View

By The West Virginia Record | Jul 10, 2019


Critical thinking seems to have gone out of style. Nowadays, facts and logic are considered irrelevant, even obscene.

It’s all about feelings now: presumed entitlement and alleged victimhood.

Call us countercultural, but we refuse to play along with this charade. We call them like we see them. When the emperor has no clothes, we’re the first to say he’s naked.

At the risk of being dismissed as patriarchal, we’re going to apply facts and logic to the account presented by a Raleigh County woman in her slip-and-fall lawsuit against the McDonald’s in Beckley.

Don’t get us wrong. If she really did fall and hurt herself, we feel sorry for her and wish her a speedy recovery. The problem is that the story just doesn’t seem to add up.

Shirley Ann Lewis has filed suit in Raleigh Circuit Court alleging negligence and premises liability for the broken arm she supposedly suffered when she fell at the restaurant just over a year ago.

In her complaint, Lewis claims that she was particularly vigilant when she went to the restaurant for breakfast on June 27, 2018 because McDonald’s employees were mopping the floor at the time. However, she failed to notice some allegedly misplaced high-back dining chairs and fell after catching her foot on them.

Lewis argues that mopping the floor during a peak hour presented an unreasonable, high-risk of injury to patrons, but, by her own account, it was the chairs that allegedly caused her fall, not the wet floor.

Were the chairs moved in the process of the mopping? Perhaps so, but again, by her own account, they were high-backed chairs, presumably stacked, so how could she not see them, especially if she was vigilant?

And why were the employees mopping? Presumably to clean the floor and make it safer for patrons, who might otherwise slip and fall and file lawsuits?

Here’s a tip for family and friends of someone contemplating a slip-and-fall lawsuit: Listen to the account of the incident. If it doesn’t make sense, challenge it.

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