Ranch dressing is indisputably the most versatile of all dressings, working equally well as a marinade for chicken wings, an underrated cheeseburger condiment, and a dipping sauce for every kind of fried potato as it does as a salad accessory. The only things it doesn’t pair well with are pizza (don’t @ me) or supermarket floors, as one shopper allegedly discovered at a Florida Walmart.
In a recently filed lawsuit, Patricia Moorer alleges that she was minding her own business in her local Walmart, browsing in the men’s shoe department, when she slipped and fell in a mysterious puddle of ranch dressing. She hit the ground and, as a result, she “aggravated pre-existing conditions,” which caused her great pain, physical disability, loss of wages and a “loss of enjoyment of life.” (Here’s where we pause to ask a question or two, such as whether a previous shopper had been, like, eating potato skins in the shoe department?)
The incident took place on October 13, 2013, but the lawsuit was filed earlier this month. Moorer claims that it is Walmart’s responsibility to keep its floors clean and clear of spilled condiments and other hazards. Her fall, she alleges, is the result of the store’s negligence—a claim that Walmart disputes. In the retailer’s response, Walmart said that yes, Moorer was in the store that day, but denied her account of the fall and of her injuries. Walmart’s attorneys suggested that Moorer should’ve been more aware of her surroundings (and theoretically should’ve been scanning the floor for any uncontained salad dressings).
According to ABC15, Moorer is asking for an unspecified amount of damages and would like a jury to decide her fate—and Walmart’s degree of responsibility.
Although Moorer fell more than four years ago, perhaps her injuries were exacerbated after reading about Henry Walker’s experience. Last November, a jury awarded the Alabama man $7.5 million to compensate him for an injury he sustained while grabbing a watermelon at his own local Walmart. While reaching for the fruit, Walker’s foot “got stuck in a wooden pallet on the floor” and he fell to the ground. His injuries were severe enough that the formerly athletic Army veteran now has to use a walker.
Walmart is more than familiar with slip-and-fall lawsuits, and there is a seemingly unending list of personal injury attorneys who blog about them. One California firm has written a guide that answers the question “What to Do After Being Injured at Walmart” (SPOILER ALERT: You’re supposed to call them immediately). A Texas attorney went full clickbait, promising to “expose” the “SECRETS” of how Walmart handles personal injury claims. And another gets right to the point with a step-by-step guide to filing a suit. “Many Walmarts have a Subway or McDonald’s located within the property, so food and beverage spills are common,” it explains, juuust in case you happen to be near the in-store Subway, training to become an Olympic long jumper in the exact same spot where someone spilled a Dr. Pepper.
As for Moorer’s case, Walmart is essentially telling her to bring it. “We are committed to a safe and enjoyable shopping experience for our customers,” Ragan Dickens, Walmart’s Director of National Media Relations, told MUNCHIES. “We have responded to the complaint with the court and look forward to defending ourselves.”