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Drunken Chattanooga Walmart customer case to set precedent

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

Jolyn Cullum was loading groceries into her car in the parking lot of a Chattanooga Walmart in February 2011 when another driver backed out without looking, knocked her over, crushed her with a shopping cart and pinned her between the two vehicles.

That driver was Jan McCool, who had just been kicked out of the Signal Mountain Road Walmart because she was acting drunk and belligerent.

Soon after, Cullum sued both McCool and Walmart, arguing that the retailer's employees were negligent because they didn't call the police or warn customers about McCool's intoxication. The Chattanooga case is headed to the Tennessee Supreme Court and is drawing national attention from business advocates who claim it could significantly increase business owners' liability.

The National Federation of Independent Business filed a brief last week to protest the most recent decision in the case by the Tennessee Court of Appeals, which overturned a lower court's initial decision to dismiss the case.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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