$50k For Injury Sustained Holding Open The Door Of A Pizza Hut?

Amanda Verett is asking a judge to enter a default judgment in her civil lawsuit againt Pizza Hut and the Pizza Hut customer she was holding the door open for. The co-defendant Clarence Jackson, has not responded to Verett’s lawsuit in the required 30 days.

According to the Madison, St. Claire Record, Verett (an attorney),

alleges Jackson grabbed the door she was holding open in such a fashion that it caused the door to suddenly and sharply move which injured her.

She claims Jackson violated his duty to use ordinary care for the safety of others when he operated the Pizza Hut door which caused her to sustain an acromion process impingement in her right shoulder.

Verett claims that due to the injury she suffered at Pizza Hut, she was unable to avoid falling on a later date and tore tendons and suffered injuries to her left hand and wrist, including a partial tear of the pronator quadratus muscle at the dorsum. (emphasis ours.)

The woman is also claiming that Pizza Hut was negligent in maintaining the door. Pizza Hut claims she’s more than 50% responsible for her injury. Clarence Jackson, apparently, has nothing to say. —MEGHANN MARCO

Pizza Hut plaintiff wants $50k in default judgement [Madison St. Claire Record]
(Photo:Timewinder)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Falconfire says:

    you cant even be nice these days can ya? I hope she falls down a well and everyone ignored her pleas for help.

  2. FishingCrue says:

    PH should file the state equivalent of a 12b6 motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. What makes that door out of the ordinary from any other door and hence negligent?

  3. SactoKev says:

    Personally, I’d like to know exactly what sort of injury she sustained. Smells more than a bit frivolous to me…free pizza for a year and call it even?

  4. faust1200 says:

    She should start a class-action lawsuit against gravity. There are many fall victims who succumb to gravity’s unholy and negligent forces.

  5. mopar_man says:

    Wow. Pretty soon you won’t be able to breath for fear of someone suing you. I have to agree with Falconfire on the well. Why hasn’t somebody laughed in this woman’s face and thrown her lawsuit into the paper shredder?

  6. FishingCrue says:

    @mopar_man: they probably did, that’s probably why the plaintiff defaulted.

  7. mmcnary says:

    Has anyone ever seen Interstate 60? There is a town called Morelaw where every resident is a lawyer. This sounds like one of their cases…

    Great movie, BTW – with Christopher Lloyd, Chris Cooper, Amy Smart et al… Worth checking out.

  8. oldhat says:

    This is like a woman falsely accusing a man of rape.

    Which is an attack on all the women who have actually been raped.

    Throw this shit out…there’s plenty of justified cases to sue over…this ain’t it.

    (I’m guessing that she’s really fat and in poor health and a waddling time bomb, one foot in the grave.)

  9. Asvetic says:

    acromion process (impingement): http://www.drkimball.com/procedures/treatment_shoulder_imp

    Wonder if she has medical insurance to cover all the “medical costs.”

  10. Skiffer says:

    So, the main defendant is not PH – it’s the individual customer she held the door open for – she just named PH as having a “poorly maintained” door for deep pockets – frivoulous all the way…

    From the article link:

    “She claims her injuries caused her to suffer a disfigurement, severe pain and discomfort and medical expenses.”

    That happens to everyone who eats at Pizza Hut – it’s called “a fat ass and liposuction”.

  11. angelheld says:

    Oops, I tripped over my own feet while leaving my apartment. Maybe I should sue my building for not holding my hand as I exited the door.

    People like this woman drive me nuts. I bet she has several of these types of claims pending. She will probably be at McDonalds next week and KFC the week after that.

  12. Moosehawk says:

    @SactoKev: free pizza for a year and call it even?

    I don’t see how you can throw your shoulder out by opening a door, but hey, if making up some crap gets your free pizza for a year, you’d probably be my hero.

  13. B says:

    @Falconfire: Who’s being nice here? The plaintiff was the one holding the door open and the defendant ripped it out of her hands for some reason. Pizza Hut isn’t at fault here, but it sounds to me like Clarence sure is.

  14. Asvetic says:

    @Moosehawk:

    My guess is she was half holding the door open, looking the other way and Clarence grabbed the door and pulled it open even more while Amanda unknowingly continued to hold onto the door. Thus pulling her arm and extending her shoulder.

    But, until I see her gynecological records I couldn’t be sure.

  15. Moosehawk says:

    @Asvetic:

    I still fail to see how this it’s Pizza Hut’s fault though. It’s like saying I spilled my drink at a Burger King and slipped on it and gave myself a concussion, but I’m going to sue BK because it happened at their location.

  16. Whammbo says:

    @SactoKev:

    Would you really want to eat free pizza from a store you just sued?

    Lady: Hi, uh yes, I am the lady that gets free pizza for a year because I sued you. Can I have three large Deep Dish Pan Pizza with sausage? And make it snappy!

    Teenage store clerk: You want the extra toppings as usual?

    Lady: huh?

    Teenage Store Clerk: Never mind…

  17. mopar_man says:

    @FishingCrue:

    Haha. Good point.

    @Asvetic:

    I think that she was probably holding the door open and he pushed it open a little further to let her go ahead of him while he held the door open (if that makes sense). Who knows though. I’m sure her psychopathic story probably differs greatly from what actually happened.

  18. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    From the article: Verett claims that due to the injury she suffered at Pizza Hut, she was unable to avoid falling on a later date and tore tendons and suffered injuries…

    “avoid falling on a later date”? Can someone explain that to me? Is that saying that because of the door being “ripped open”, on a separate day she fell and tore her tendons and had injuries?

  19. gafpromise says:

    Exhibit A as to why you pay attention when you get a piece of paper saying you’re being sued. If you don’t show up or respond, you’ve lost your chance to defend yourself and automatically lose, even when the other person is clearly out to lunch.

  20. jaredharley says:

    I am hereby notifing the Consumerist of my intent to sue.

    You see, I read an article you posted yesterday (let’s say it was the CFL/mercury story). On the way home, I was unable to avoid thinking about it, and I ran a red light causing a horrible traffic accident. It was your inconsiderate gesture of posting said article that led me to be unable to stop properly at a red light.

    Gimme money, please!

  21. SactoKev says:

    @Moosehawk:
    The way I figure, it couldn’t cost Pizza Hut more than $100 in materials to give her all the pizza she could eat for a year. It isn’t as if we’re talking about actual cheese and dough or anything…

  22. Dibbler says:

    So, no one was around who could be sued when she fell down and hurt herself. I’m guessing she couldn’t pay the med bills so a lawyer friend told her to find someone else to sue…she remembers the incident at Pizza Hut and here we are today…

  23. Pelagius says:

    Put her in a rat-infested hole with The 65 Million Dollar Judge. The first one to claw his or her way out wins a boot to the head.

  24. gorckat says:

    Her “inability to stop falling” probably had to do with the original injury and is just poorly worded, I think.

    My guess is that she suffered a minor injury that reduced her range of motion or ‘slowed’ her arm (if that makes sense- I’m sure we’ve all had an ache that made moving a leg or arm a slow process).

    Then, while falling at a later time, she couldn’t prevent the fall (by grabbing for support) or break it properly (couldn’t get her arm up to take the blow form her face- it mentioned disfigurement) and bam- default judgement!

  25. spanky says:

    It does sound pretty stupid on its face, but as long as we’re making assumptions:

    The guy she’s suing is named Clarence, which is an old man name. I have personally witnessed members of that demographic having unseemly and hostile reactions to perceived threats to their manhood such as women holding doors for them. It is conceivable that the guy really did yank the door violently from her, injuring her arm.*

    There’s next to nothing on what she’s actually suing Pizza Hut for, but based on my admittedly scant understanding of personal injury law, premises liability cases are pretty close to impossible to prove. So unless her case is pretty solid (like the door was unusually dangerous in some way that wasn’t casually discernable), that probably won’t amount to anything.

    That said, it still does sound like a silly, maybe even frivolous case. But without more detail, it’s hard to be sure.

    * Farfetched, yep. Not as farfetched as the explanation that she was probably…uh…fat. And…uhhhh…that prolly made her arm get hurt. Obesity alarmism–is there anything it CAN’T explain?

  26. JustThisGuy says:

    @faust1200: I second this motion. Where do I sign on, and where can I send you my credit card numbers?

  27. MiikeJoNes says:

    @Falconfire:

    “you cant even be nice these days can ya? I hope she falls down a well and everyone ignored her pleas for help.”

    Yeah but if they have good samaritan law, she maybe able to sue people for not helping her… You just can’t win with our legal system.

  28. Canadian Impostor says:

    @spanky: Fat people don’t take care of their bodies. I would assume a fat person would get injured more easily than someone who exercises.

  29. othersomethings says:

    This post immediately reminded me of a time about 15 years ago, when my mother was injured at a Pizza Hut, due to faulty design.

    Her hand was smashed holding a door open to the ladies room. The mens room door opened at the same time, with the angles of the doors to each other being such that they intersected. And when one door opened onto the other with any amount of force (such as a confident man or eager boy exiting the rest room) it would (and did) cause damage. If I recall, it actually broke several bones in her fingers. Also, I believe the Pizza Hut in question responded honorably and paid her medical expenses. I don’t think any legal action took place, they were beside themselves and apologetic, and my mom just needed the ER bill paid.

  30. JustThisGuy says:

    @Jason: yes, fat people do get injured more easily, but it’s not a matter of taking care of yourself, more so than it is a matter of physics. for example, if two men were to get fall the same distance, a fit, but large man–say 6’5″, 220 lbs–is more likely to get injured than a sickly, but small man.

  31. BStu says:

    Moving past the usual, boring fat hatred (can I sue you guys for intellectual property theft?) the case against Pizza Hut sounds thin, however, I wouldn’t rule out her having a legitamite case against the co-defendant who didn’t bother to show up. At the least, there is no evident reason to be dismissive. As we’ve often seen, there is never a shortage of people eager to be critical of someone filing a lawsuit without knowing the full details. The best case is the McDonald’s coffee case which is still cited by self-righteous anti-ligation types who’ve never examined the full details of the case. Maybe this case is silly, but maybe it isn’t. That’s why we have a legal system.

  32. faust1200 says:

    @JustThisGuy: Thanks for your interest in the class-action suit. You may enter your SS#,DOB, DL#, home address and the and the times you aren’t home as well as the sexual status of any mothers,wives,daughters and pets here. Thanks again.

  33. Brian Gee says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: Was she walking on her hands, perhaps? I don’t know about you, but aside from my head, my shoulders tend to be the furthest body parts from the ground most of the time (except when I hold my hands in the air, and wave them like I just don’t care ;). I don’t see how a shoulder injury can make you fall. Maybe she couldn’t catch herself when she started to fall, but that doesn’t mean the shoulder caused the fall. This sounds totally bogus.

    Clarence might be responsible for the initial injury, but not for her subsequent fall. My guess is the second injury is, without a doubt, completely her fault; otherwise she’d be suing someone actually involved in that incident.

  34. spanky says:

    @Jason: We do not know that she was fat. It’s an assumption that someone made based on the fact that the poster has a negative impression of her in general.

    And I would be interested in hearing your theories on how excess weight would be responsible for an injury to the rotator cuff.

    As to the secondary injury, she claims she was injured in a fall that she wasn’t able to prevent because of the initial injury. It’s not completely out of the question that the fall was somehow exacerbated or even caused by excess weight, but that’s a pretty big stretch, too.

    It’s ridiculous the extent to which people have bought into the obesity epidemic hype and subsequent demonization of the overweight. Please step back for a moment and ponder the fact that there are people who immediately assume that this woman is overweight based on the fact that they believe a lawsuit she filed is frivolous.

  35. royal72 says:

    caution: operation of door may cause injuries. use at your own risk.

  36. emax4 says:

    You have to read the actual story to get the full picture here, folks. Don’t just read the specific section on The Consumerist.

    It appears that the woman who fell is an attorney (and it appears that they’ll try to get away with anything, like they’re not making enough money as it is), and isn’t suing Pizza Hut but the man she held the door open for. She and the defendant were exiting.. oh just read the story.

    I can understand if someone was holding a door open for me, but then I grabbed it in a particular way and flung it open violently that might knock a person to the ground without the door hitting them, but rather their hand or arm positioned in such a way that it caused them to lose balance and fall. Highly unlikely, but a small chance nonetheless. They were exiting together with Verett in the front and the defendant behind her. That’s when it seems that the defendant opened the door even further at such an angle or radius that it caused injury to the person originally holding the door open. Unless you’re a door person, I think mostly everyone would hold a door open so much, then when the person they’re holding it open for is halfway through the exit or makes initial contact with the door, that they would continue on their way with the next person continuing to hold the door open.

    And how long was it before she fell the first time at Pizza Hut and the time she fell again? If she didn’t treat herself the first time for the fall (and knowing this since it was stated that she fell at a later date), this can be filed under personal negligence of ones self. Therefore any falls after that would have no relation to the first one sustained at Pizza Hut.

    Another statement reads:
    “Verett claims Pizza Hut was negligent by maintaining a door for ingress and egress which was not reasonably safe and was likely to injure people when being held open and grabbed by another.

    It’s understandable that any company can be held liable for a door not being safe, but to whose standards? Did Verett call ahead of time and ask what type of mechanism or safety features the doors had, or if there was a pneumatic shock above or below, such as on a screen door, that would allow the door to open fast and swiftly while closing slowly? If she only assumed that information, as they say, assuming makes an “ass” out of “U” and “me”.

  37. spanky says:

    @emax4: Before you start ragging on other people for not reading the story, it might behoove you to read it a little more closely yourself.

    It appears that the woman who fell is an attorney (and it appears that they’ll try to get away with anything, like they’re not making enough money as it is), and isn’t suing Pizza Hut but the man she held the door open for. She and the defendant were exiting.. oh just read the story.

    She is suing both of them. That’s why they call the man a co-defendant, and that’s why the stuff about Pizza Hut being negligent. (Also, there’s no indication she actually fell during the first incident, as you claim.)

  38. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Jason: Whatever. We have more padding.

  39. afran303 says:

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  40. The Bigger Unit says:

    Only one thing to say: God bless America!

  41. Roundonbothends says:

    And let this be a lesson: before opening a door, especially a GLASS door, look to see if someone is holding onto the handle on the other side.

    Isn’t nice that shit doesn’t just HAPPEN anymore?

  42. Krossbones says:

    The American legal system has become such a joke. I guess we’ll be seeing warning labels on our doors now.

  43. Brian Gee says:

    @Whammo: As long as you tip really well (like $10, or $20, or 30-40% of what the normal bill WOULD have been had you not gone the frivolous lawsuit route), the employees shouldn’t have a problem with it. Just be sure to let them know ahead of time, so you don’t get special sauce the first time. As a bonus, the servers would surely remember you and your big tip, and give you good service on subsequent meals, free or not.

    Of course if you’re a douchebaguette (as I suspect would be the case in this, uh, case) and give them, say, 5000% on the $0 check, you deserve to eat scum.

  44. emax4 says:

    @emax4: Before you start ragging on other people for not reading the story, it might behoove you to read it a little more closely yourself.

    You’re right spanky. I guess I got caught up in the whole “fall” thing. Sorry ’bout that. :) (sheepish grin)

    Let’s hope this woman learns her lesson and never opens a door again. If she does, she can’t try suing anyone again over something silly like this if it ever happens again.

  45. shdwsclan says:

    Umm…..its a door….