Menards faces lawsuits after customers claim injuries

2011-01-03T18:00:00Z Menards faces lawsuits after customers claim injuriesBy Sarah Tompkins sarah.tompkins@nwi.com, (219) 836-3780 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | Two Hoosiers are suing local Menards stores after one tripped and fell on a bunched-up rug and another had a piece of crown molding fall on her foot, according to court records.

Aline Simington, of Gary, is asking for more than $75,000 in damages after a piece of wooden crown molding fell and injured her foot at in 2009 at Menards in Merrillville, court records show. And Paul Perz, of Schererville, allegedly fell on a "bunched-up rug" in 2009 at the entrance of the Schererville store, according to a lawsuit filed in November.

In an answer to the complaints filed Monday, Menards denies liability in each case.

Menards claims that Simington's negligence caused or contributed to her injuries, and that she knew of associated risks and dangers. Details about the incident were not available, and Simington's lawyer, Michael Polen, did not return requests for comment.

The two parties have agreed to proceed with private mediation, but it was not clear why that decision was made.

Court Farrell, of Bruce P. Clark & Associates law firm that is representing Menards, declined comment.

Perz, whom his lawyer Thomas Clements described as more than 50 years old, needed surgery as a result of his injuries, Clements said.

"He slipped and fell and had a separated shoulder," Clements said. "I hope he makes a full recovery."

In Perz's case, Menards also claims his injuries were a result of his negligence. But the home improvement store claims a company it contracted for facility services, G&K Services, should be liable.

Jill Hamlett, the company's claims manager, said she could not comment on the allegations.

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