FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2018
Contact:Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305.670.1101 Ext. 1023
QPWB ATTORNEYS ACHIEVE DEFENSE VERDICT FOR RETAILER
FORT LAUDERDALE ― David M. Tarlow and Matthew McElligott received a defense verdict on behalf of their client, a retail establishment. On October 29, 2011, the plaintiff was shopping at the retail establishment with her two children, one who is a special needs child, when she slipped and fell in a liquid substance. Store video captured the incident and showed another customer slipping, but not falling, four minutes earlier. As plaintiff remained on the floor being attended to, another spill is seen in an area approximately ten feet away. Video also showed little to no maintenance being performed in the hour prior to the fall. As a result of the slip and fall, plaintiff underwent four left knee surgeries, two arthroscopies, a partial knee replacement and then a full knee replacement. The four surgeries all occurred within six years after the accident. Plaintiff had no pre-incident left knee complaints.
Plaintiff filed the lawsuit after three of her surgeries had been performed. In discovery, plaintiff denied having any post incident accidents causing personal injury. Medical records showed four different accidents, all occurring after the three surgeries, but before the fourth surgery. Plaintiff testified she was in collections due to unpaid bills and changed professions from medical assistant to billing clerk as she was physically incapable of performing the job tasks of a medical assistant. Plaintiff asked the jury to award a minimum of $3 million.
Relying upon plaintiff’s initial treating physician – as the only defense witness – whom plaintiff saw only one time, the defense built a legal causation argument of an undisclosed accident occurring approximately nine days after her fall at the defense’s retail establishment. The defense had a good feeling when the jury retired to deliberate and one juror hit her knee in the juror box and cried out, “ouch, I hit my knee, can I sue?” This caused the rest of the panel to laugh out loud.
All three defense lawyers had specific roles in this case which ultimately led to a jury finding no negligence. Jury deliberated one hour, while they ate lunch. A Proposal for Settlement was served on the plaintiff in pre-trial, which she rejected and which will now expose her to a judgment for fees and costs.
# # #
David M. Tarlow is the managing partner of the Fort Lauderdale office. He practices in the areas of general liability defense, including personal injury defense, premises liability, product liability defense, wrongful death, automobile liability, negligent security, legal malpractice defense, insurance coverage disputes and bad faith litigation.
Matthew McElligott is an associate in the Fort Lauderdale office he focuses on insurance and general liability defense, including personal injury, premises liability, product liability defense, wrongful death, automobile liability, negligent security, legal malpractice defense, insurance coverage disputes and bad faith litigation.
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is a full service law firm with more than 360 lawyers serving clients from 21 offices in the United States and abroad across a spectrum of industries in over 40 areas of practice. Our lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and government law.