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The Villages
Saturday, December 9, 2023

Walmart claims Villager drank and used drugs hours before alleged slip-and-fall

In response to a lawsuit filed by a Villager who claims she fell on a painted surface at the Walmart at Buffalo Ridge Plaza, attorneys for the company say the woman was “able to walk” away on her own volition, had been “drinking” and “taking drugs” within hours of the incident, and has a “prior conviction involving a crime of dishonesty.”

On Friday, Sept. 22, Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, which does business as the Villages Wal-Mart Supercenter Store #4262, filed a motion to have its admissions “deemed admitted” in a lawsuit filed by Dianne Zugnoni in the fifth judicial circuit court for Sumter County.

The request comes in response to a complaint that was filed in March by Orlando-based Morgan & Morgan on behalf of Zugnoni, who is a resident of the Village of Summerhill.

According to that complaint, Zugnoni was visiting the Walmart at Buffalo Ridge, which is located at 4085 Wedgewood Lane, on July 6, 2021. During her visit, Zugnoni claims she “slipped and fell due to the existence of a dangerous and hazardous condition of the premises.” The complaint goes on to describe the condition as a “painted area of the parking lot walking surface that was unreasonably slippery, especially when wet.”

Zugnoni claims that after she slipped, she sustained “serious permanent injuries.”

Walmart claims that Zugnoni has failed to respond to a “Request for Admissions” that the company’s attorneys filed on May 10, 2023. In the request, Walmart lists 19 individual admissions, accusing Zugnoni of being “able to walk on” her own volition “immediately after the incident alleged.”

The company accuses Zugnoni of having been involved in “one or more motor vehicle accidents” and “one or more work related accidents” prior to the alleged incident, and says that “some or all of the injuries” for which she is claiming damages “pre-existed the incident alleged.”

Walmart goes on to accuse Zugnoni of “drinking alcohol within eight hours prior to the incident alleged” and “taking drugs/medication within six hours,” as well as having previously been convicted of a “crime of dishonesty.”

In its motion on Sept. 22, Walmart asks the court to deem the requests admitted, and that the company be awarded “attorney’s fees and costs.”

According to court records, no additional filings, except a notice of appearance, have been made in the case as of Friday, Sept. 29.

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