A postal worker and Whole Foods are embroiled in a legal dispute over whether he tripped on a pumpkin stem at its Alewife Brook Parkway market or whether he stumbled over his own two feet as he was getting out of his truck.
Ronald Rossetti, a postal carrier, is suing Whole Foods for negligence in Middlesex Superior Court. He claims that while making a delivery to the store on Sept. 10, 2012, he fell on a pumpkin stem near an outdoor pumpkin display and broke his ankle so severely he has been unable to return to work. He is seeking damages for himself; his wife wants additional penalties for "loss of consortium."
The chain does not dispute his injury - although it questions the severity. But it says he never reported the incident to the store and that it has surveillance photos - and an internal USPS report - that it says shows Rossetti fell out of his truck all on his own and that any possible gourd bit was not to blame.
Earlier this week, Whole Foods filed a lawsuit in US District Court against the Postal Service, which it claims is refusing to let it depose, or question, a supervisor and two employees who investigated the incident. Whole Foods says that when it asked the Postal Service to compel the three to submit to questioning, the Postal Service essentially replied by saying: So sue us. So Whole Foods did.
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