Case Studies: Slip-Fall
Mesa, AZ personal injury attorney Wes Wright talks about a case he handled that involved a bad slip and fall at a grocery store.
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Premises cases, slip and fall, trip and fall cases are notoriously difficult cases. Oftentimes a jury especially here in Arizona will put some measure of fault on the victim. I recall a case against a large grocery chain where my client had slipped and she fractured her ankle real bad. She had to pins and plates put in, she had a permanent disability as a result of it. And what had happened is someone had dropped something on the floor, some liquid on the floor and that’s what she slipped in, couldn’t see it, slipped in it, bad injury.
Well we sent out a demand to the grocery store chain and they responded back take a hike. Your client, there was nothing on the floor, we don’t see anything there. We don’t know how your client fell but it had nothing to do with us. We’re sorry she’s injured but we’re not going to offer any sort of compensation for this because we did nothing wrong. We then filed a lawsuit and after you file a lawsuit you go through something called discovery where you exchange information with the other side. And one of the things I asked for was I want two hours of security camera footage before the slip and two hours after.
My goal being, of course, to watch every minute of it and see if I could find what my client has slipped on. And sure enough they disclosed the video and I watched every minute of it for four hours in my office and I did, in fact, find the spill and how it happened. But more importantly, I found each time in the four hours or the two hours before the slip I should say where employees of the grocery chain simply walked past it and did nothing about it. There were a couple times even where the employee was pushing a long broom and walked right past it and did nothing.
And then I took the deposition of one of their managers who testified that under oath, yeah, we should be looking for spills and if we see them, we have to do the following things. So they went from initially we’re not offering anything, take a hike to after discovering that evidence okay, we’ll come to the table. And we were able to get that case settled and get some money for our client who suffered a really bad injury.
So that’s a good example of kind of how it works.