Ipswich woman injured in 2019 refrigerant leak sues

·1 min read

Jan. 24—ROWLEY — A nearly 80-year-old Ipswich woman who was shopping at the Rowley Market Basket when the store was evacuated due to a refrigerant leak 2 1/2 years ago has filed suit against the supermarket chain, citing permanent injuries.

Carol Nunes' complaint was filed Wednesday in Salem Superior Court.

The Sept. 5, 2019, leak at the Route 1 store, which was reported as a mass casualty incident, sent at least eight people to hospitals, fire officials reported at the time. Dozens of customers from that store and others in the strip mall were evacuated. Both workers and customers reported suffering from coughing and difficulty breathing while inside the store.

Nunes, who uses a cane, fell several times during the evacuation, and also inhaled refrigerant vapor, according to the complaint, which is alleging negligence by the store.

The complaint, filed on Nunes' behalf by lawyer Brittany Weise, says Nunes has been hospitalized multiple times since the incident and continues to suffer from neurological and respiratory problems.

The complaint accuses the company of negligently and carelessly failing to ensure that the freezer case that leaked was in safe condition, and also says that in the course of evacuating the customers, store employees failed to assist Nunes despite her age and her dependence on a cane.

Nunes and her attorney are seeking unspecified damages in excess of $50,000.

A spokeswoman for the supermarket chain was unable to provide a response by Friday's Salem News deadline.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis