A woman who reportedly slipped on a wet spot inside the Safeway in Roseburg has filed a complaint against the company and a beverage distributor, and is seeking nearly $400,000 in damages.

Judy Noland filed the seven-page complaint in Douglas County Circuit Court on Aug. 26. She is represented by Roseburg attorney Danny Lang. The complaint is filed against Safeway Stores, Inc., and Coho Distributing LLC, a Wilsonville company doing business as Columbia Distributing.

According to the complaint: Noland was shopping at the Safeway at 1539 NE Stephens St. on Sept. 4, 2019, when she slipped on “an unmarked accumulation of water in the customer aisle” and fell, causing her to be injured.

Sometime prior to Noland’s arrival in the store an employee of Columbia Distributing “carelessly discharged or caused an unwanted quantity of water to spill on the floor” in an aisle in the store. That spillage made the aisle slippery and “unreasonably hazardous to customers,” including Noland, the complaint said.

Noland slipped on the wet spot “due to the negligent acts and omissions” of Safeway and Columbia Distributing, according to the complaint.

Because of that negligence, Columbia Distributing “created an unreasonable risk of harm” in one or more of the following ways, the complaint said:

  • Failing to exercise due care in the delivery of its beverages within the store, and by doing so creating a dangerous wet spot within the store.
  • Failing to warn customers, including Noland, of the “unreasonable foreseeably dangerous conditions” caused by the accumulation of water.
  • Failing to adequately clean up and remove all of the remaining water after performing a partial cleanup.
  • Failing to remain in the immediate area of the spill to ensure that customers would be warned to avoid the slippery floor.

Similarly, Safeway failed to exercise due care by not inspecting the spill area after it was made aware of what happened, failed to make sure it was completely cleaned up and failed to warn customers about the spill or close the aisle, according to the lawsuit.

The negligence resulted in Noland slipping and falling, causing “serious bodily injuries,” according to the complaint.

“By reason of the foregoing premises, (Noland) was rendered sick, sore, lame, and disabled, causing (her) physical pain, anguish, and suffering together with straining, bruising, tearing, and twisting of (her) body, thereby sustaining permanent and disabling injuries and symptoms to her right knee, which required a complete surgical knee replacement.,” the complaint said.

Those injuries are permanent and residual, according to the complaint.

“The foregoing injuries have caused Noland severe pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of function, interference with (her) lifestyle, and enjoyment of activities, and will continue to do so in the future,” the complaint said.

Noland is seeking $300,000 in non-economic damages and $82,399 in medical expenses, as well as legal fees and other associated court costs.

Neither Safeway or Coho Distributing LLC has yet to respond to the complaint.

Safeway Stores, Inc. did not return a call and email seeking comment.

Scott Carroll can be reached at scarroll@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4204. Or follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.

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