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Trial date set in case of woman who died after Wal-Mart fall

Trial date set in case of woman who died after Wal-Mart fall


CHADRON, Neb. - A trial date has been set in the case against Wal-Mart in the death of a Chadron, Neb., woman.

David Lehman sued the corporation shortly after his wife, Julie, died after falling in the Chadron store. The case, filed in Dawes County District Court was removed to the U.S. District Court, which has scheduled a trial for Feb. 16. There will be a pre-trial conference in January.

Julie Lehman was in Wal-Mart July 21 with her son, Steffan, 17, when she slipped on a wet floor in the automotive cleaning products aisle on her way to the restroom. According to court documents, Steffan and another patron who heard Lehman fall came to her assistance, and Steffan called 911. Julie received her initial diagnosis and treatment at the Chadron Community Hospital before being flown to Rapid City Regional to have a massive blood clot in her brain surgically removed. Julie never woke up after surgery and died July 27.

Lehman's lawsuit, filed on his behalf by attorney Monte Neilan, alleges that Wal-Mart either created or failed to prevent a wet, slippery floor through several negligent actions. The papers charge Wal-Mart with failing to have slip-resistant floors, failing to use slip-resistant flooring material, failing to treat/maintain floors with slip-resistant chemicals, failing to monitor/inspect for spills and failing to maintain a clean and dry floor.

The lawsuit also states that Wal-Mart created a condition of danger by displaying liquid on shelves erected over flooring and failed to use "reasonable care" to protect customers such as Julie Lehman.

As her widower and next of kin, David Lehman is asking the court to award him medical expenses in an amount exceeding $50,000 and funeral expenses exceeding $10,000, as well as compensation for her conscious pain and suffering and apprehending death.

The Lehmans had two children, Kirsten McCracken, 24, and Steffan, together, and the lawsuit says Steffan was still dependent on his mother for support at the time of her death. David Lehman is asking for an amount exceeding $500,000 for Steffan's loss of past, present and future services and for damages for the loss of Julie's comfort and companionship to her children.

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