An unusual lawsuit involving a leguminous vegetable has been filed against a New Jersey supermarket.
The plaintiff in this case is a woman from Oakland, a borough of Bergen County, and the defendant is the local ShopRite supermarket. Although the lawsuit in question was filed in early October, the accident is alleged to have happened two years ago.
According to court records kept by Bergen County Superior Court, the 55-year old New Jersey woman stepped on a string bean and fell down on the aisle floor near the produce department. The lawsuit further claims that the plaintiff suffered extensive injuries that left her disfigured and with a certain degree of disability.
The lawsuit is being filed in accordance to the numerous provisions of the New Jersey Revised Statutes as they relate to negligence, which can be comparative or contributory. In this particular case, the plaintiff asserts that ShopRite was negligent because it failed to prevent string beans from falling from the baskets set up for self-service shopping. This self-service produce shopping model has become very popular at many supermarket chains across the United States; shoppers are encouraged to get their hands on fresh produce that they can pick, choose and bag for themselves. This shopping model, which is similar to a farmers market, cuts down on packaging and provides a more wholesome, has the unfortunate potential of produce falling down from the baskets.
The lawsuit argues that ShopRite was negligent insofar as not posting an employee to scoop up fallen string beans. Court records also show that the plaintiff believes that ShopRite failed to equip its produce section with safety floor mats that can provide better grip and protective cushion in case of a slip-and-fall situation.
As can be expected in these lawsuits, the plaintiff seeks to recover funds spent on medical bills and lost wages. The ShopRite location being sued is part of the Wakefern Food Corporation, a major retail consortium that is headquartered in Newark.
A federal judge in Manhattan has determined that Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) must face a lawsuit filed by an investor representing all shareholders of the Italian auto manufacturer.
In the United States, Fiat does business as FCA U.S., a company responsible for the iconic Fiat and Chrysler automotive brands. In 2014, FCA issued public statements related to an investigation by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), which questioned the company’s handling of two vehicle recall actions. FCA stated that it was in full compliance of safety regulations, something that the NHTSA did not agree with.
Unhappy FCA shareholders who were not thrilled to learn about the NHTSA investigation decided to file a civil complaint against the automaker in late 2016. There is an allegation of stock price inflation at the heart of the complaint; the plaintiffs believe that FCA downplayed safety concerns brought up by automotive industry analysts and later by the NHTSA. Furthermore, the plaintiffs accused FCA of accounting violations due to their alleged failure to set funds aside when the automaker learned of safety issues.
According to records filed at U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, Judge Jesse Furman reviewed the defendant’s motion to dismiss in early October. Judge Furman set aside the claims of accounting malfeasance; however, he determined that the lawsuit should continue with regard to the allegations of fraudulent stock price manipulation. Furthermore, FCA shareholders have been given a green light to file claims against former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne and the former FCA safety director Scott Kunselman.
As a result of the mandatory recalls, FCA lost about $670 million on top of a hefty $175 million in fines payable to the NHTSA. Although the lawsuit may proceed, Judge Furman made it clear that optimistic statements made by public companies such as FCA do not necessarily amount to fraud.
On the Milan Stock Exchange, shares of FCA dipped slightly towards 5.8 euros the day after Judge Furman issued his decision. The 52-week high for this stock has been 9.73 euros; that price has not been revisited since November 2015 when shareholders started to voice their dissatisfaction with FCA and its handling of safety recalls.