Walmart removed customer’s suit alleging vision loss after items fell and struck his head

Walmart has removed a customer’s lawsuit alleging he suffered permanent injuries to his eyesight when merchandise fell from an upper shelf and struck his head.

The lawsuit was originally filed by plaintiff Todd A. Davis on Nov. 5, 2021, in the Marion County Circuit Court. Walmart filed a notice of removal to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois on March 18 through attorney James DeFranco of Rynearson Suess Schnurbursh & Champion LLC in Fairview Heights.

Walmart alleges removal to federal court is proper based on diversity of citizenship and the amount in controversy. Specifically, Walmart claims that the plaintiff disclosed during discovery that he suffered a tear in his left cornea and a torn iris with loss of the lens. As a result, he has incurred $62,217 in medical bills so far.

“Defendant had insufficient information to establish that the amount in controversy was in excess of $75,000 before February 24, 2022, because defendant had limited knowledge of plaintiff’s medical bills, treatment, and damages,” DeFranco wrote.

In his complaint, Davis alleges the store’s employees had failed to take proper precautions to protect the safety of its customers.

According to the lawsuit, on July 19, 2021, Davis was shopping at a Walmart in Salem when a product placed on an upper shelf fell and struck him. Davis allegedly suffered “disabling” injuries to his head and permanent injuries to his eye, impairing his eyesight. The lawsuit states that Davis will continue to suffer “physical pain and anguish” in the future.

Davis alleges the injuries caused him to be liable for the cost of medical care and impaired his ability to work and perform daily normal activities.

Davis is seeking damages in an amount exceeding $50,000, plus court costs.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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