A woman has filed a personal injury suit against a Wal-Mart store, claiming that its employees knowingly allowed a snake to roam the store and bite her toddler son.
On January 11, Aimee Ray Battle, individually and as next friend on behalf of a minor, filed suit in Texas’ Hardin County District Court naming Wal-Mart Stores Texas, Wal-Mart Super Center, and store manager Mike Thomas as defendants. On February 22, the suit was removed to federal court for the Eastern District of Texas.
According to the suit, on January 27, 2009, Battle and her son were shopping at a Wal-Mart in Silsbee, Texas. She says the store’s employees knew a snake was roaming freely through the store and failed to warn customers. Her 23-month-old son got near the snake and was bitten on the arm.
The type of snake in question was not identified by the suit, but Battle claims her son suffered “serious and permanent bodily injuries.”
The original complaint says, “The presence of small children on Defendants' premises was reasonably foreseeable, in that, Wal-Mart is a major department store where children frequently accompany adults and browse the large toy department." It also says that the premises’ condition created an “unreasonable risk of harm to both adults and children” due to the risk of attack by the snake. The suit claims the defendants “knew or should have known” about the risk of death or serious injury presented by the snake being allowed to roam freely.
Battle seeks damages for physical impairment, disfigurement, physical and mental pain, suffering, anguish, medical costs, and interest.
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