Jay Richitelli, a resident of Hollywood, Florida, has filed a negligence suit against Wal-Mart, alleging that he sustained personal injuries after being bitten by a snake at the store. He is the third Floridian to be bitten by a snake at a Wal-Mart.
Richitelli, 42, filed suit in Florida’s Broward Circuit Court and seeks an unstipulated sum in monetary damages. His attorney said that his medical bills could exceed $100,000 and that the company should have taken preventive steps after two similar incidents that occurred in 2006.
According to the suit, a deadly pygmy rattlesnake bit Richitelli on July 6, 2008 in the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pembroke Pines’ lawn and garden center. As he was looking for plants to purchase for his father’s home, he was bitten on the right hand.
The suit says Richitelli frantically swung his right arm and managed to shake the snake off and stomped on it, killing it. He then called 911.
The suit says Richitelli spent five days in the hospital and then had to return two days later because of fluid in his lungs.
Richitelli still continues to shop at Wal-Mart, despite continued respiratory problems and scarring on his hand. He said in his suit that the store was expected to have warnings in place, particularly because of the recurring incidents.