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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Family Dollar Ducks Falling Items List

BEAUMONT, Texas (CN) - A Texas appeals court vacated a county court's demand that Family Dollar Stores produce a list of lawsuits it's faced for injuries from falling merchandise.

Family Dollar was sued for negligence in January in Jefferson County Court. A shopper claimed she suffered knee and ankle injuries while dodging falling picture frames at a Family Dollar state in Beaumont.

Mary Jane Walters said an employee told her she "was lucky that she didn't get hit by the big mirror back there" and that "merchandise was always falling" from that part of the store.

The court ordered Family Dollar to create a "computerized listing of all incidents and lawsuits relating to falling merchandise" in its jefferson County stores for the 5 years before Walters was injured.

Family Dollar appealed in August, claims that Jefferson County Judge Bob Wortham abused his discretion in granting Walters' request for the list.

The Ninth District of Texas Court of Appeals overturned Wortham's order this month.

"Because [the plaintiff's] request could have been more narrowly tailored to heighten relevance, and because the trial court's order, although narrower than [the plaintiff's] request, still requires Family Dollar to produce tenuous information as related to Walters's claim, the trial court's discovery order is overly broad and not narrowly tailored to comply with the discovery rules," the opinion states.

"We are confident the trial court will vacate its orders to compel production of the lists at issue in this case, and that [the plaintiff], should she seek to obtain further discovery, will serve narrowly tailored discovery that complies with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure."

Family Dollar was represented by Zach Mayer, Robin Gant and Joshua Sandler, with Kane Russell Coleman & Logan in Dallas.

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