An 85-year-old man recently won a slip-and-fall case against supermarket superstore Safeway. The man slipped in liquid laundry detergent left in one of the aisles of the store. The injury was severe, a broken femur that required surgery and insertion of a medical rod. The victim has required repeated rehabilitation sessions and continued physical therapy and may never fully regain use of his leg.
The victim of the slip-and-fall accident argued that the company was responsible for the accident. He built a case to establish the business should have removed the hazard and that its failure to do so resulted in his injury.
The victim also argued the company did not take customer safety seriously. Instead of conducting an investigation and preserving evidence, the victim accused the business of “evasive tactics” like the destruction of footage from the accident the company was asked to preserve. The footage allegedly contained evidence that employees were aware of the spill but did not take prompt action to close off the area and remove the dangerous substance.
The case went to trial. Jurors spent five days hearing evidence and testimony about the accident. Ultimately, they ruled in favor of the victim and awarded the man $1.6 million in damages. The award included a $102,000 portion for medical expenses and $525,000 pain and suffering. The jury also awarded an additional $1 million as punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed specifically to punish the accused. In this case, the jurors sought to establish that Safeway and similar retailers should strive to provide a safe environment for customers.
The case provides an example for victims injured in similar slip-and-fall accidents. Victims often need to establish various elements, such as knowledge of the hazard, in order to move forward with a case. An attorney experienced in slip, trip-and-fall injuries can review a case and provide the victim guidance on potential legal remedies.