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. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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