A New Canaan woman this month sued Acme on Elm Street after she slipped and fell while trying to buy a frozen treat.
It happened at about 7 p.m. on April 29 (a Friday), when Kathleen Dillon “went to Acme to purchase some ice cream,” according to a complaint filed Oct. 5 on her behalf by attorney Adam Blank of Stamford-based Wofsey Rosen Kweskin & Kuriansky.
“On that date and approximate time she removed two half-gallon containers of ice cream from a freezer on the premises and attempted to walk down the aisle towards the checkout area. Suddenly and without warning, her right leg was caused to slip forward and her left leg was caused to slip backward by a puddle of sticky liquid that was allowed to be and remain on the floor of the aisle. Ms. Dillon was caused to lose her balance, fall onto her right knee and incur the injuries more fully set forth below.”
Those injuries include, the complaint said, a radial tear of the free edge of the posterior horn of the right medial meniscus, patellofemoral chondromalacia; right medial tibial plateau pain, left mediolateral knee pain and bilateral knee stiffness and swelling and decreased range of motion.
The lawsuit also names as a defendant the property owner at 288 Elm St., Grocery LLC.
Neither Blank nor Acme officials could immediately be reached for comment.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff has paid for medical care and treatment, diagnostic testing and physical therapy and the injuries “have caused, and will continue to cause, Ms. Dillon pain and suffering, mental anxiety, discomfort, limitation of activities, loss of life’s enjoyment, mental distress, and disability, which will continue into the future and some or all of which may be permanent.”
It isn’t clear how money she is seeking, though the amount is greater than $15,000—a tipping point in complaints of this nature that puts it into a higher-tiered category.
According to the lawsuit, Acme failed “to exercise ordinary care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition” and its employees “had either actual or constructive knowledge of the defective and dangerous condition of the premises.”
They were negligent and careless, it said, in failing “to inspect the premises and discover the defect, when a reasonably prudent grocery store owner would and could have done so.”
“Additionally, Acme’s mode of operation is distinct from the ordinary operation of related businesses; its mode of operation creates a regularly occurring or inherently foreseeable hazard and Ms. Dillon’s fall occurred within the zone of risk.”
Formerly the Food Emporium, the grocery store last year was sold by A&P following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
Acme has until Oct. 25 to answer the complaint, according to the suit.