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Mingo man sues Hardee’s over chair, makes $75K settlement demand

By Debbie Rolen

July 21, 2013

LOGAN – A Mingo County man is suing the Hardee’s in Man, alleging that his chair collapsed from under him as he and his wife were preparing to eat.


Louie Grimmett filed his lawsuit June 18 in Logan County Circuit Court against Mountain Star LLC, doing business as Hardee’s of Man. The case has since been removed to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.


On June 15, 2012, Grimmett and his wife ordered their meal and were about to sit at a table when the chair that is connected to the table via a metal bar broke at the point where the chair connects to the metal bar.


“As a direct and proximate result, the plaintiff fell violently to the floor,” the complaint says.


“The plaintiff alleges that the defendants… were negligent in allowing this chair and table to fall into disrepair without properly servicing the chair and table, knowing or having reason to know that restaurant patrons would be using the chair and table to dine, the plaintiff negligently was caused to fall causing injury to the plaintiff.”


The complaint adds the defendants failed to inspect the premises, keep them safe and warn the plaintiff of a hidden defect. Hardee’s was on notice as to the state of the chairs after a similar incident, it adds.


Grimmett says he injured his neck, back and hip and has suffered great body of pain and mind. He has spent money on medical attention, changed his lifestyle and lost the normal enjoyment of life, he said.


Grimmett is represented by Robert B. Kuenzel of Kuenzel & Associates in Chapmanville.


Hardee’s removed the case to federal court on July 16, alleging that Grimmett is a resident of West Virginia and no defendant is a resident of West Virginia.


It adds that although Grimmett makes no specific monetary demand, the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 exclusive of interests and costs and that the injuries alleged are permanent in nature.


Grimmett is also seeking punitive damages. A monetary threshold for removal to federal court is $75,000.


Hardee’s also says Grimmett has made a $75,000 settlement demand and attached the letter doing so to its removal notice.


The letter says Grimmett has incurred $16,387.47 in medical expenses so far. He has received MRIs on his head, right knee, right hip, right shoulder, cervical spine and lumbar spine at Thomas Memorial Hospital.


Additional special damages being sought include annoyance and inconvenience and pain and suffering.


“Considering the injuries to our client, the special damages of our client, and the liability in the case, we here demand the amount of $75,000.00 to settle and compromise this claim,” Kuenzel wrote in the letter.


Hardee’s also filed its answer to the complaint through attorney Michael P. Markins of Mannion & Gray. It denies the allegations.


From the West Virginia Record: Reach John O’Brien at jobrienwv@gmail.com.


This entry was posted in Federal Court, Logan County, News and tagged Hardee’s, Michael P. Markins, Robert B. Kuenzel. Bookmark the permalink