MOUNT CLEMENS (WWJ/AP) – A woman is suing a home improvement retailer after her husband was killed by falling ceramic tiles in a suburban Detroit store.
The Geoffrey Fieger law firm filed two lawsuits against Menards this week. One suit is for emotional anguish suffered by Cindy Colletti in witnessing her husband’s death. The other is a wrongful death lawsuit.READ MORE: Michigan Reports 5,616 New COVID-19 Cases, 68 Deaths
The lawsuits say a Menards store employee used a forklift to place a 600-pound pallet of tiles on a shelf about 15 feet off the ground. Moments after the employee left the area, the pallet of tiles fell and crushed Richard Colletti, police said.
The complaints say Menards was negligent and breached its duties in more than 20 ways, including their failure to train, negligent hiring and the failure to supervise their employees.
“[Menards] was grossly negligent in the causing of the serious injuries and eventual death of Richard Colletti, which caused serious and permanent phychiatric and emotional injury to Cindy Colletti,” one complaint states.
The lawsuits request a jury trial and seek damages of $100,000,000, according to a Fieger spokesperson.
Menards has declined to comment.READ MORE: Detroit Police Seek Assistance Locating Suspect Wanted For Critical Assault
“One can imagine a young couple looking to build their home,” said Fieger, “and a five -year-old child, they’ve been married for 11 years, looking forward to their future and it ending in an aisle-way of a building supply store.”
Police say the incident happened around 10:30 a.m. Aug. 30 at the Menards store on Market Place Boulevard in Chesterfield Township. Richard Colletti was rushed to McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mount Clemens and later died from his injuries. His wife, who witnessed the entire thing, was uninjured.
Lt. Brad Kersten told the Detroit Free Press that employees were placing pallets of merchandise up on the storage racks using a forklift about 15 or 20 minutes before the accident. The employees had moved to another area by the time the couple walked down the aisle.
Authorities investigating the accident haven’t yet said how the pallet came loose and fell. Chesterfield Township police said they did not find any criminal negligence in the incident, calling Richard Colletti’s death a “tragic accident.”
The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified of the incident but likely will not conduct its own independent investigation because the accident did not directly involve an employee, officials said.
A funeral for Richard Colletti was held Friday.MORE NEWS: FBI Asks Public's Help After Explosives Found In N. Michigan
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