Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Target Employee Sees Puddle and Leaves to Get Safety Cones, Patron Falls in Mean Time

Pennsylvania personal injury attorney Edward Chacker of Gay, Chacker & Mittin obtained a great result in a slip and fall case against a Pennsylvania Target Store.  On July 21, 2003, plaintiff Christina Walker, 40, retail clerk, was in a Target store in the Philadelphia area when she slipped and fell on water in an aisle resulting in a premises liability lawsuit.

Claiming premises liability, Walker sued Target Stores Inc. and Target Corp. The plaintiff maintained that a pharmacist on duty at the time of the incident was in the aisle when a customer reported a spill. After being notified, the pharmacist left the aisle to retrieve warning cones. Walker then slipped on the spilled liquid. Plaintiff's counsel argued that the pharmacist was negligent for leaving the hazardous spill in the aisle and failing to protect Target's customers.

The defendants denied the allegations. Defense counsel contended that Walker was at fault because she was not paying attention where she was walking.

The day after her fall, Walker woke up with a severe headache. She visited her family physician, complaining of dizziness, blurred vision and pain in her back, left foot and left elbow. She had a CAT scan, which came back as normal. Soon after, she had an EMG and was diagnosed with a status post-cerebral concussion, lumbar strain and sprain, right C5 and left L5 radiculopathy, bilateral C8 and right L5 radiculopathy, right epicondylitis, sprain of the plantar fascia of the left foot and post-concussion syndrome. She began physical therapy, which she underwent through May 2004.  A year after the accident, Walker still complained of blurred vision, headaches, neck and upper back pain, and some numbness and tingling in her upper extremities and lower left leg. She saw neurologist Steven Mazlin for ongoing treatment. Mazlin testified that Walker's condition resulted from her slip and fall, and that the fall exacerbated a previously quiescent migrainous disorder and "unmasked a case of so-called latent MS."Walker was also diagnosed with a disc bulge at L5-S1, for which she underwent chiropractic treatment from February 2004 to February 2006. In 2006, she received three Lidocaine injections and was fitted with orthoses.  In addition, she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

Walker sought $54,420 in past medical specials and $9,761 in past lost wages, having missed 18 weeks of work. She sought an unspecified amount for past and future pain and suffering.

After a three-day trial, the jury found Target liable and awarded Walker $250,000 in damages.

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