We don’t commonly hear about what are often termed as “slip and fall” lawsuits being heard in federal court. However, that’s what is going to happen with a personal injury suit brought by a customer against a Lowe’s store in Harlingen, Texas. Further, both sides want the premises liability case to be decided by a jury.

The plaintiff’s suit against the home improvement store involves a fall that she says she suffered nearly two years ago. According to the suit, the woman slipped on a wet floor that was not blocked off or marked with a sign to warn customers of the risk. Reportedly a leak, either from the store’s ceiling or wall, caused the floor to be wet. The suit contends that Lowe’s should have been aware of the leak, taken prompt action and posted cautionary signage. The plaintiff, who says she twisted her ankle and hurt her back in the fall, is asking for “between $101,000 and $200,000” for a variety of damages, including pain, anxiety, lost income and medical care.

Lowe’s is disputing the allegations in the suit, which will now be heard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. It claims that the victim or “third parties over which it had no control” are responsible. The retailer is asking that if any damages are rewarded to the plaintiff, they be only for her medical expenses. However, victims who have suffered injury due to the negligence of a business have every right to seek punitive and “pain and suffering” damages. These are often difficult for a victim to quantify. Personal injury attorneys can help clients assess damages and provide evidence that they are due more from the at-fault business than reimbursement of medical costs and wages.

Source: Valley Morning Star, “Lowe’s moves local lawsuit to federal court” Emma Perez-Trevino, Jan. 03, 2014