Lawsuit: Woman hurt in Bloomfield Dollar General parking lot faults company, manager
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The lawsuit was filed in state district court
FARMINGTON — The woman who was allegedly injured by a vehicle in the parking lot of a Dollar General store in Bloomfield as a suspected shoplifter attempted to flee is suing the company and its Bloomfield store manager, claiming those parties were negligent and are responsible for her injuries.
The company and the manager deny most of the woman's claims and seek to dismiss the civil lawsuit with prejudice, along with awarding costs and fees to the company.
Plaintiff Rose Scheuer filed the initial complaint on July 29 against Dollar General Corporation and Diedre Rightmire, the manager of the Bloomfield Dollar General at 1502 W. Broadway Ave.
The lawsuit seeks an undetermined amount of punitive and compensatory damages
Scheuer was the woman Eddie Hernandez, 34, of Visalia, California, is accused of repeatedly running over with an SUV on May 21 in the Dollar General parking lot, according to The Daily Times archives.
Hernandez allegedly shoplifted from the store then tried to flee the scene in a black Chevy SUV, which struck Scheuer then backed over her several times.
Life-threatening injuries suffered
The woman suffered life-threatening injuries including a fractured pelvis, collarbone and a brain bleed, according to court documents.
The complaint filed in state district court alleges Rightmire disregarded a Dollar General written policy that prohibited employees from leaving a store to follow a suspected shoplifter and chased Hernandez outside the store.
An amended complaint by Scheuer was filed on Aug. 1. It also claims Rightmire's negligent acts led Scheuer to suffer serious, life-threatening injuries.
The lawsuit alleges Dollar General is liable for what it calls Rightmire's negligent acts and the company negligently hired, retained and failed to adequately train and supervise employees.
Scheuer's complaint included Hernandez as a defendant in the case, but he was dismissed from the case on Sept. 3.
Chain store denies liability, wrongdoing
Dollar General Corporation filed its answer to the lawsuit on Aug. 30, denying most of the allegations levied by Scheuer.
Allegations denied include that Dollar General has a written shoplifting policy that prohibits employees from pursuing a suspect, and that Rightmire disregarded policy when she chased Hernandez outside the store.
Among Dollar General Corporation's affirmative defenses is that, if Scheuer was injured, then her injuries and damages were caused by her own misconduct or negligence.
Rightmire's answer to the complaint was filed on Nov. 25. It also denies the manager disregarded company policy to chase after Hernandez. It also states if Scheuer was injured or damaged as alleged, then those damages and injuries were the result of parties that are not Rightmire.
Dollar General Corporation and Rightmire's documents request the lawsuit be dismissed and costs of attorneys be awarded to the company for answering the complaint.
A Jan. 21 scheduling conference is set for the case in front of Aztec District Court Judge Curtis Gurley.
Hernandez is set for a March 18 jury trial in Aztec District Court.
Passenger has court date
Antoinette Gutierrez, 41, was a passenger in the SUV. She is charged with a felony count of accessory to knowingly leaving the scene of an accident, according to The Daily Times archives. She is accused of telling Hernandez to leave the scene then telling officers and witnesses she drove over Scheuer.
Gutierrez, not included in the civil lawsuit, is set for a March 11-12 jury trial in Aztec District Court.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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