Recently, a woman received a verdict of nearly $1 million following a slip and fall accident that took place outside of a BJ’s Wholesale Club. BJ’s is one of the country’s leading providers of bulk groceries. The individual filed a lawsuit against the grocery chain after she sustained multiple injuries when she slipped on a slick floor at the grocery store several years ago. Further investigation revealed that a pipe had burst. This spilled all over the floor, leaving it slick. The woman slipped and fell soon after and had to go to the hospital as a result of the injuries.
At the hospital, the woman was seen by multiple doctors and underwent several tests. She was subsequently diagnosed with hip, knee, and spinal cord injuries. She also had to undergo surgical procedures to correct injuries that she had suffered to her foot and knee. These were complicated surgeries during which the doctors tried to restore motor function to the knee and foot. Following the surgical procedures, she needed to undergo physical therapy to restore her ability to walk. Furthermore, she has also had to receive multiple injections to her spine and lower back to treat injuries there. She is fortunate that her spinal cord was not damaged in the accident, which might have led to further complications.
The lawsuit took several years to unfold; however, the two sides could not come to a settlement. The grocery store chain argued that the woman should have been paying more attention to the conditions of the store, stating that she should have seen the pipe burst. On the other hand, the woman argued that BJ’s should have done a better job marking the site of the pipe burst. According to The May Firm, “Many people slip on spilled liquids” which includes water that pours out of ruptured pipes, as this case has shown. The jury was inclined to agree.
The jury decided to apportion blame to all parties involved. The woman filing the lawsuit was found to be 15 percent at fault with the store managed 20 percent at fault and the grocery chain as a whole 65 percent at fault. As a result, the woman’s request for $1 million was reduced to $850,000. Then, interest was added due to the years it took for the lawsuit to be litigated. The final total was just over $904,000. The money was awarded for pain and suffering, future medical expenses, past medical expenses, and future lost earnings. This case shows that people can suffer serious injuries from a simple slip and fall accident. While it is important for people to be mindful of their environment, it is also important for businesses to mark slip and fall hazards that might pose a risk to their customers.