Earlier this week, Menards filed a lawsuit against a Georgia company in response to a number of personal injury claims “tied to moving walkways installed in some of the home improvement chain’s stores.” The lawsuit itself was filed in Eau Claire County Court against ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corp. and accused the company of not living up “to its warranty and other parts of a contract to install the walkways intended to transport people and carts,” resulting in injury reports, as well as “breach of contract, breaking Wisconsin product warranty laws and for failing to assume defense in two pending injury cases.”
According to a letter that Menards’ corporate legal manager, James Anderson, wrote in 2014, “the moving walkways installed in a Schererville, IN store have a very disproportionate number of injury claims compared to the other moving walkways that are in use throughout our company.”
Included in the lawsuit was a copy of a contract between Menards and ThyssenKrupp that detailed how the Georgia company “agreed to warranty its work for two years after getting final payment for the jobs, including making repairs within a week of being notified of a problem with the walkways.” According to Menards, they paid “ThyssenKrupp for the completed work on April 22, 2013…following completion of the walkways at the Indiana store, multiple customers experienced injuries and filed claims against Menards.”
Of the injury reports, many occurred when shopping carts “became caught in the moving walkways and knocked down patrons.” It’s also important to note that all the claims against Menards “stem from injuries that occurred before the warranty for the Schererville store’s walkway ended on April 22, 2015,” according to the lawsuit.
In the initial letter sent to ThyssenKrupp by Anderson, Menards explained how it “wanted inspections of all its walkways installed in the stores, changes to prevent injuries and for the elevator company to be responsible for defending injury claims.” Unfortunately, ThyssenKrupp never responded to Anderson’s letter, which prompted Menards to “pursue its own changes to the walkways to prevent injuries and they would bill the costs to the ThyssenKrupp.”
So what does Menards hope to gain by filing the lawsuit? Well, for starters it still wants “ThyssenKrupp to pay for the cost of inspecting and repairing the walkways, injury claim settlements and defending pending claims.” However, ThyssenKrupp has yet to respond to the lawsuit and the company’s spokesman, Dennis Van Milligen, said the “company’s policy is to not comment on pending litigation.”