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Posted November 26, 2010 | comments 3 Comments

$500,000 sought after woman injured by hay bale

She blames farm supply store for incident in which leg was shattered

By Alex Bridges-abridges@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- A woman blames a Frederick County farm supply store for injuries she sustained while helping a worker load hay bales on her trailer in 2007.
Renae Talbert claims negligence and seeks $500,000 from Clearbrook Feed & Supply Inc. in a motion for judgment filed Tuesday in Frederick County Circuit Court.

Talbert went to the business at 3441 Martinsburg Pike on Feb. 24, 2007, and bought three round bales of hay, according to the motion. Each measured 5 feet by 4 feet, and she asked to have them placed on a 16-foot trailer towed behind a 2000 Dodge truck, driven by Talbert's friend, Anneka Nydam, the motion states.

A forklift operator moved two bales from a company flatbed truck to the trailer, according to the plaintiff. The bales were bound to the trailer and the company employee returned to the flatbed truck to retrieve the third bale.

The motion states "the CF&S employee did not warn Renae away from the load vehicles, and permitted her to assist in the unloading of the final bale of hay. ... As the CF&S employee approached the trailer with the hay bale perched on the tines of the forklift, Renae stood on the opposite side of the trailer watching, and waiting to assist in the unloading of the bale of hay."

As the operator "lifted the bale over the trailer, he moved it in such a way that the hay bale rolled off of the tines of the forklift, hit the opposite side of the trailer and struck Renae, causing her to fall to the ground where she shattered her left leg, and suffered great physical harm," the motion states.

The plaintiff claims the use of the forklift in this manner showed negligence in that "it was not the actions of a reasonable person, and constituted a danger to any person standing in the parking lot of CF&S."

Allowing Talbert "to stand in close proximity to the load vehicles, and to assist in the unloading of the round hay bale was a violation of two specific internal safety rules that had been promulgated by CF&S for the safety of its customers," the motion states.

Allowing customers to stand near the vehicles or allowing patrons to aid in the loading were "negligent and dangerous practices," according to the motion.

Moreover, CF&S knew, or should have known, of the danger of using a forklift to load hay bales and of letting customers stand near vehicles and helping in the loading and unloading process, the motion states.

The defendant "owed a duty to [Talbert] to use all reasonable efforts to keep its business premises safe from defects or conditions which were in the nature of hidden dangers, traps, snares and pitfalls," the motion states.

The actions by the employee constitute "defects or conditions which were in the nature of a hidden danger, trap, snare or pitfall," according to the motion.

Despite having "actual or constructive knowledge," CF&S failed to either remedy or to warn Talbert of the existence of the defects or conditions, the motion states.

Talbert has suffered physical and emotional injury that, according to the motion, is likely to continue.

Martinsburg attorney Michael Santa Barbara represents Talbert.

3 Comments | Leave a comment

    I am sorry about the lady hurting her leg but please, I am sitting at my kitchen table and I think I know the inherit danger of a large round bale of hay being loaded on a trailer. I just have a really hard time with folks trying to sue for negligence when the only issue is the egregious lack of common sense. I hope the judge can see through this and throw this out of court.

    If you don't want to be hurt, you usually don't stand around where there is danger. Most SMART people would either step away from the truck or stay in the truck.

    Once you start helping out, you are taking responsibility for your own safety!!

    More frivolous crap... Honestly? The woman needs to be told that heavy machinery picking up a heavy bail of hay might constitute a "danger"?

    As I always ask with this type of lawsuit: Fine, you can sue, but you foot the bill for all costs incurred by the county, state, plaintiff and defendant if you lose.... (Now do you want to try to get that payday?)

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