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Stony Point Fights Umbrella Allegation

It happened Nov. 29, according to an affidavit filed in Richmond Circuit Court. Blevins, shopping with her grandchildren, tripped over the stand, fell and hit her head. She apparently scuffed up her bifocals and hurt her hands and left knee, according to the complaint, and court pictures show a bloody spot on her forehead.

But that’s not what goads Blevins and her lawyer, Martha Blevins Brissette, who also happens to be her daughter. They’re more peeved at how mall management treated her mother, Brissette says. They met with management Dec. 2, Brissette says, and were told the incident was her mother’s fault and the mall wouldn’t be compensating her for the injuries or the glasses.

“If it had been tended to properly, she might have been willing to accept the replacement of her glasses and some sort of an apology,” Brissette says.

Instead, she’s suing for $50,000.

“We take great pains to offer a safe and welcome environment at Stony Point and all of our shopping centers,” says Sid Welch, general manager of the shopping center. He wouldn’t discuss specifics of the case, referring calls to the company lawyer.

Stony Point attorney Douglas Winegardner declined to discuss the case in detail, except to say the environment at the mall “was perfectly safe.”

The slip-and-fall is as old as the hills. But this case has an interesting twist: Brissette says Welch referred her to Taubman’s corporate offices in Michigan. But a lawyer there denied that Taubman ever owned or operated Stony Point. On its Web site and in Securities and Exchange Commission filings, however, the company lists Stony Point as one of its properties.

Taubman Centers Inc. of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., denies any ownership of the mall in court filings, as well. And, Winegardner says, it isn’t simply a “procedural” filing to ensure the right corporate entity is named in the suit. However, the legal entity that owns the mall, says Winegardner, is Stony Point Associates LLC, a business unit of Taubman.

A hearing has been set for Jan. 27. — Scott Bass

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