Most of us have tripped at a store. Tripping at the store is usually the result of a misstep or untied shoelace, but many people are injured every year because some Delaware store owners maintain unsafe premises. An example of unsafe premises is a grocery store that fails to promptly clean up a spill or leak despite employees being aware of the problem. Many stores also fail to properly shovel and salt their parking lots during the winter months which results in many customers and employees suffering preventable slip and falls.
Wal-Mart recently had a large premises liability lawsuit decided against it. A jury ordered the nation’s largest retailer to pay $15 million to a truck driver who slipped on a combination of grease and ice while making a delivery. The truck driver suffered severe back injuries from her fall and had to undergo three surgeries to repair problems with her spine. The trucker’s injuries highlight the serious consequences that can arise out of a store’s failure to maintain safe premises throughout the entire year.
Wal-Mart initially denied the presence of grease outside of the Colorado store where the trucker fell, spurring a truck accident lawsuit in Philadelphia. Wal-Mart also claimed that the jury award was excessive. The Colorado Supreme Court disagreed and awarded the trucker $10 million after reducing the verdict for that state’s limit for non-economic damages. The trucker was able to produce city records indicating a grease leak from a device that was supposed to keep deli grease from infiltrating the sewers.
The trucker’s attorney said that justice was served by this verdict and Wal-Mart refused to comment on its defeat in court.