Hatt’s sister, Valerie Blankenship, filed suit against Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, but the case recently was moved to federal court - Dayton’s U.S. District Court.
The lawsuit alleges wrongful death and other counts. Blankenship claims the owners of the store at 6495 Brandt Pike “knew or should have known that one of the doors to the interior entrance of (the store) was defective and/or was not working correctly and/or was otherwise having problems that prevented customers from opening it safely in order to enter the store.”
The lawsuit claims Hatt suffered severe head injuries - subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hematoma and more - as a result of the fall.
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The suit said the store had a duty of care for its patrons and failed by “negligently failing to maintain the door in a reasonably safe condition; negligently failing to warn her of the hidden/latent danger of the door sticking and being unsafe; and other negligent acts and/or omissions.”
In its answer filed in court, Dollar Tree Stores denies the substantive allegations. The company stated in its reply that Hatt’s attorney claimed Hatt’s medical bills were more than $200,000. Dollar Tree Stores attorney Chris Cotter said the company declined to comment further.
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The complaint does not indicate if store employees or medical personnel were notified of Hatt’s alleged fall. Blankenship’s attorney did not return a message seeking comment.
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