The Record is reporting that a WV woman is suing Chili’s for her broken finger. The suit alleges that in 2009 Sharon Stover went to Chili’s for lunch with several friends and co-workers. Stover claims when she returned to her seat from the restroom she attempted to pull the chair closer to the table when the seat lifted from the frame and fractured her right index finger between the seat and the chair frame. When Stover immediately notified the manager, Greg Wolf, of what happened. He made an admission that the seat and chair were defective and improperly maintained.
Stover is filing a negligence suit. She claims Chili’s breached its duty (a legal term necessary to prove in negligence suits) when it failed to maintain the chair in a safe condition. This is akin to the slip and fall cases where there is a spill that a store should reasonably be aware of and should have cleaned-up. Wolf’s admission will be key evidence of knowledge the chair was broken.
Knowledge the chair was broken is not the only challenge Stover will face. She will need to show her damages meet the threshold for appearing court and that those damages were foreseeable. This case is a classic negligence suit that offers many lessons for restaurant owners: remember to train staff about addressing patrons after an accident, pulling potentially dangerous items from the dining room, and always keep your insurance up-to-date.
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