Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Slip and Fall on Plant Water in Home Depot

Pennsylvania personal injury attorney Keith Kofsky from Philadelphia did a great job getting a verdict in a slip and fall lawsuit filed against Home Depot.  This Pennsylvania premises liability lawsuit titled Hughey v. Home Depot arose from events that occurred on February 4, 2006, when plaintiff Dianne Hughey, a retiree in her 50s, was walking in the Home Depot store.  As she did so, she was called to fall backwards onto her buttocks. Hughey sued Home Depot Inc. and Home Depot USA Inc. for personal injury damages, claiming the area where she fell had been negligently maintained.

Plaintiff's counsel contended that Hughey had been walking near the plant department when she slipped on a puddle of discolored water. Counsel asserted that the water, which had been on the floor for a prolonged period of time and must have been spilled there while Home Depot workers were tending to plants in the area, should have been cleared by Home Depot employees before Hughey walked in the area.

Counsel for the defendant denied that there was any water in the area where Hughey fell because the greeter and manager who attended to her didn't see any puddle. Further, counsel asserted that the accident happened about 20 feet from the plant department, suggesting there was no evidence establishing how water would have been spilled in the area where Hughey fell.

Hughey took an ambulance to the emergency room and was eventually diagnosed with a torn meniscus in each of her knees. She underwent arthroscopic surgery to treat the injuries. Plaintiff's counsel also contended that the fall caused Hughey to sustain two herniated discs in her cervical spine and another in her lumbar spine, with radiculopathy. Counsel sought to recover $22,500 in past medical bills along with unspecified past and future pain and suffering damages.

Counsel for the defendant argued that Hughey could not have torn the medical meniscus in each of her legs because she fell backwards and the physics of her fall were not consistent with those injuries. Further, counsel asserted that Hughey's back injuries were degenerative in nature and not due to the fall at the Deptford Home Depot.

The jury found Home Depot was 50 percent liable for Hughey's injury and Hughey was liable for the other 50 percent of liability. Thus, when the jury returned a $150,000 award in Hughey's favor it was reduced by 50 percent, netting Hughey a $75,000 recovery.

Attorney Kofsky obviously did an awesome job on this case as the plaintiff does not appear to have had any good liability witnesses other than her own testimony.  He said/She said cases are extremely difficult to win let alone in slip and fall cases.  Clearly, Ms. Hughey must have made for a very credible witness and her lawyer played things very well.

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  1. Does anyone know of a good slip and fall lawyer in Philadelphia, PA? My brother had something rather similar happen to him.