Clinton store sued in connection with woman's death

UPDATED: Wal-Mart officials have released a statement to the Clinton Herald in connection with the lawsuit, stating: “Our condolences go out to the family for their loss. We take this matter seriously and will respond appropriately with the court.”

CLINTON — The family of a Morrison, Illinois woman has filed a lawsuit against Clinton's Wal-Mart, alleging negligence on the part of the store caused her premature death in December 2017.

Michael James, individually and as independent executor of the estate of Ruby C. James, and his sisters, Roberta James and Julie James, through their attorneys Bush, Motto, Creen, Koury and Halligan filed a petition at law against Wal-Mart last week.

The petition alleges that on Dec. 11, Ruby James arrived at the Wal-Mart Supercenter Store to shop and stopped near the front entrance to get a shopping cart before entering the store. The petition alleges that as Ruby James was by the shopping cart, a Wal-Mart employee pushed a row of shopping carts into her, causing her to be knocked to the ground.

The petition states that Ruby James fractured her left hip as a result of her fall. James was taken to Mercy Medical Center- Clinton immediately after the fall, and on Dec. 13 underwent surgery related to her left hip fracture. James' post-operative course was complicated by respiratory failure, renal failure, hypotension, hypoxia, dyspnea and possible sepsis with shock liver, according to the lawsuit. The petition states James' condition deteriorated until she died Dec. 18. James was 80 at the time of her death.

The lawsuit says that "Ms. James' fractured left hip, subsequent surgery, and acute hospitalization, more likely than not, was a material contributing factor to the chain of events that ultimately led to Ms. James' death," the petition states.

The petition under count one alleges negligence. The petition alleges Wal-Mart was negligent because the row of shopping carts was pushed into James, failed to keep a proper lookout for customers before the shopping carts were pushed and failed to keep proper control over the shopping carts. The petition alleges as a direct and proximate result of the negligence of Wal-Mart, James suffered significant pain, suffering and eventual premature death. The petition also alleges that she suffered mental pain and suffering prior to her death.

The petition also alleges three counts of loss of consortium. One count each applies to Michael James, Roberta James and Julie James. The petition under all three counts states the plaintiffs, as a direct and proximate result of the negligence of Wal-Mart, sustained and will sustain mental and emotional pain and suffering, have been and will be deprived of the services, companionship and society of their mother and incurred burial and funeral costs for their mother.

Wal-Mart representatives did not return a telephone all seeking comment Tuesday.