As is standard, Giant Eagle denied notice (i.e. they lacked knowledge of the spill before the fall occurred) of the condition and argued that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent in causing the fall.
The plaintiff testified that she was walking in the soda aisle of the defendant's supermarket when she slipped and fell as a result of a soda spill. The plaintiff testified that the spill was sticky, as if it had been on the floor for a considerable period of time.
The plaintiff's chiropractor testified that the plaintiff sustained multiple sprain and strain injuries in the fall, including injuries to her neck and back. The plaintiff complained of ongoing pain. The plaintiff claimed $ 10,000 in medical expenses.
The defendant argued that the supermarket floors were inspected on a regular basis and spills cleaned immediately upon detection. The defendant's orthopedic surgeon testified that the plaintiff's aches and pains were associated with unrelated arthritis and not the subject fall.
The jury found the defendant 60% negligent and the plaintiff 40% comparatively negligent. The plaintiff was awarded $ 33,000, which was reduced to a net award of $ 19,800.
This was a tough case. Giant Eagle is a well liked local business. It was a slip and fall case. There does not appear to have been any key witnesses to the fall or the spill condition other than the plaintiff. The plaintiff had a chiropractor testify to her damages as opposed to an orthopedic surgeon like the defendant. Thus the plaintiff must have come off as very believable and attorney Gaydoes obviously did a great job for his client.
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