FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2008
Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305-670-1101 Ext. 123
QPWB ATTORNEY OBTAINS QUICK DEFENSE VERDICT IN PREMISES LIABILITY CASE
PALM BEACH, FL – Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., Trial attorney David M. Tarlow a partner in the Ft. Lauderdale office of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB), obtained a defense verdict for Wal-Mart Store, Inc. On September 4, 2006, Plaintiff Peterson Bart was shopping with his uncle when he slipped and fell on a watery surface. He alleged that both of his feet slipped out from underneath him causing him to land on his back, neck and head; and that his clothes were “soaking-wet.” Plaintiff’s cell phone photos of the floor clearly showed water.
Wal-Mart Assistant Manager Lisa Means (now retired) had responded to the accident. Means testified she had inspected the aisle only 30 minutes prior to the incident. Store Associate Jason Coleman, a shelf stocker at the time of the incident, did not witness the accident but he was stocking a freezer in the same aisle where the accident occurred. Coleman testified he was a new hire and was never trained on store policy governing floor care safety procedures. He was unaware of his need to inspect the floors, and it was not his job. He also never observed his supervisors inspecting the floor. Wal-Mart’s photos of the incident were allegedly lost. On the day of the accident, store records revealed that an alarm signal generated from one of the freezers. Plaintiff argued that water leaking from the freezer caused him to slip.
An MRI of plaintiff’s lumbar spine demonstrated a bulge at L4-5 and L5-S1. The cervical spine MRI showed herniation at C6-7; and bulges at C4-5 and C5-6. Plaintiff was given a permanent impairment rating of 10% and his treating orthopedist stated the need of future medical care and treatment of epidural injections and/or surgery. Plaintiff was claiming $174,000.00 in future medical care.
During cross examination the plaintiff was caught in multiple lies. He explained that his lies were based on difficulties in understanding the English language; were based on racial factors and his inability to understand “simple questions.”
Within 15 minutes of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict finding no negligence.
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Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is a civil defense firm with a wide variety of litigation services for healthcare companies, healthcare facilities, physicians and other healthcare licensed professionals and their insurers. The firm’s Litigation Department also provides general liability defense for all businesses, insureds and insurance companies. Our practice groups and industry-based teams ensure clients have access to attorneys with the best expertise, regardless of location. QPWB maintains a tightly integrated network of six fully staffed offices throughout Florida with attorneys licensed in several states.