The plaintiff alleged that she was shopping in the defendant's home improvement store when she was struck in the back by a tub enclosure which fell from a cart pushed by one of the defendant's employees. The defendant denied that the tub enclosure struck the plaintiff as she alleged.
The plaintiff was a female in her 40s at the time in question. She testified she was standing in line at the defendant's paint counter when an employee left a cart containing a tub enclosure nearby. The plaintiff testified that another employee was moving the cart when the tub enclosure fell, striking her in the back and knocking her to the floor. The plaintiff called her husband and her cousin's wife who happened to be in the store at the time of the incident. These witnesses testified that they observed the tub enclosure fall from the cart and strike the plaintiff.
The plaintiff's neurosurgeon testified that the plaintiff sustained a lumbar disc herniation as a result of the incident. The plaintiff underwent intradisc electrical therapy "IDET," a minimally invasive procedure involving insertion of a wire and utilization of heat to reduce swelling. The plaintiff was released by her physician to resume normal activities, but claimed that the activities aggravated her back condition. The plaintiff then had a second IDET procedure. The plaintiff returned to her prior employment as an investment broker. The plaintiff testified she is no longer able to work with her husband in performing house renovations as she did before the incident.
The defendant read the deposition transcript of the employee involved in the incident. The employee testified that the tub enclosure began to fall, but he caught it before it contacted the plaintiff.
The defendant's orthopedic surgeon testified that the plaintiff's lumbar condition preexisted the date of the accident. Records showed that the plaintiff had undergone some chiropractic treatment for back pain prior to the date of the incident. The plaintiff called her treating chiropractor in rebuttal to testify that the defendant's orthopedic surgeon misinterpreted the chiropractic records to read "LB" as meaning low back, when actually, the abbreviation stood for Logan's Basic, a procedure to loosen up a patient prior to treatment.
The jury found the defendant 100% negligent and awarded the plaintiff $ 36,087 in damages. The jury declined to award consortium damages to the plaintiff's husband.
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