A southern Oregon woman is suing Albertsons for nearly $8.3 million, saying a bottle of wine she had bought crashed onto her right foot and ankle after its plastic shopping bag tore.
Jewel Strite sued Boise-based Albertsons and its Central Point, Ore., store director. Albertsons said Strite is to blame for her injuries, saying she tore the bag when she lifted her groceries, failed to notice the tear and failed to properly handle her merchandise.
Plastic-bag maker Hilex Poly Co. has been drawn into the lawsuit as a co-defendant after Albertsons argued that the Indiana company made a defective plastic bag and misrepresented its load capacity.
Strite said the bottle shattered and she suffered an incomplete fracture of an ankle bone, a cut and bruised ankle, and damage to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and other soft tissue of her leg, ankle and foot. She said she required multiple spinal cord stimulator surgeries to treat complex regional pain syndrome and also had left shoulder pain from using a crutch.
Strite said she was standing at the checkout counter in October 2012 while an employee bagged her groceries. Most of the items were double-bagged, but unknown to Strite, the employee placed a 1.5 liter “magnum” bottle of Barefoot Chardonnay in a single bag.
The lawsuit said Albertsons and its store director were at fault because the wine was not double-bagged, she was not offered an alternative way to carry the wine such as a paper bag or wine carrier, and the checkout worker was not properly instructed on how to bag heavy items.
Strite is seeking damages for pain and suffering of $4.2 million, plus nearly $4.1 million in economic damages from $74,048 in medical expenses plus expected future medical expenses, loss of earned income and other expenses.
Her lawsuit is pending in Jackson County Circuit Court.