Hot dog leads to suit

December 4, 2009
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A woman slipped in a Connersville Speedway gas station, so of course, she’s filed a lawsuit. The gas station should have known better than to leave a hot dog on the floor.

According to a lawsuit filed in Indianapolis this week in federal court, Mary Stenger believes Speedway “failed to warn of the dangerous condition created by the hot dog on the floor.” She visited the gas station in March with her husband and while walking in, slipped on the hot dog and fell.

The suit doesn’t say whether it was a jumbo frank or regular dog, or whether it was plain or had slippery condiments on it like mustard or relish. It also doesn’t say how old Mrs. Stenger is, so perhaps her fall did seriously injure her. Again, scant on details, but apparently she’s suffering from bodily disfigurement, and possible permanent physical and emotional injuries. Could her mental suffering be embarrassment because you have to tell people you slipped on a hot dog?

Businesses have a duty to protect their customers, thus things like the yellow “caution” signs are used when they mop the floor. If this had been a slick floor, I’d probably have more sympathy because it’s easy to not see water on the ground. But how can you miss spotting a hog dog on the ground, and when you step on it, how do you fall instead of just smooshing it? The suit doesn’t say that she was physically or visually impaired at the time of the accident.

Her husband is also a part of the suit because he’s lost the care, society, companionship, support, and service of his spouse.

And is it just me, or is it ironic that the firm representing Mrs. Stenger is Craig, Kelley & Faultless and her attorney is Scott Faultless? The suit says Speedway should have seen the hot dog and known someone would trip on it, and the gas station should have expected she wouldn’t realize there was a hot dog on the floor and wouldn’t protect herself against it.
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  • I know I am late on this comment, but I have to think you have not frequented some of the Speedway stations I have seen. Yes, it is possible for an able-bodied person to slip and be seriously injured. It is also possible that the hot dog was already smooshed leaving a large greasy area. Why assume that the defendant and attorney are exaggerating?

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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