July 12, 2012
Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305-670-1101 Ext. 1023
Premises Liability / Negligence / Slip-and-Fall
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB) trial attorneys David M. Tarlow and Michael J. Wood achieved one of the fastest defense verdicts for their client, a retailer. The plaintiff, a 31-year-old female, was shopping with her husband and two minor children, when she slipped and fell in a liquid substance. She slipped and fell very hard to the floor after leaving the checkout lane at the defendant’s store. She immediately sought emergency medical treatment at a local emergency room with complaints of neck and lower back pain. Electrodiagnostic studies were positive; an MRI of the cervical spine showed a disk herniation at the C4-5 level, and an MRI of the lumbar spine showed disk herniations at the levels of L4-5 and L5-S1. As a result of failing conservative treatment, it was recommended that she undergo a diskectomy to her lumbar spine. She underwent a two level diskectomy followed by physical therapy, accumulating a total of $83,498.65 in past medical bills. Due to her young age, future medical care and treatment was recommended over the course of her life expectancy.
Store video captured the incident as well as the hour preceding it. The video showed numerous customers and store employees walking directly over the area where the plaintiff would eventually slip and fall, without complication. Video also showed various employees cleaning the general area of the accident in the time leading to the plaintiff’s accident. The source of the liquid spill was never determined; however, the video showed what appeared to be the plaintiff’s youngest child pointing to something under their shopping cart and it showed the husband looking underneath the shopping cart and then moving certain grocery bags within the shopping cart. Defense counsel seized on this arguing the source of the spill originated from the plaintiff’s own shopping cart.
After a four-day trial, the jury deliberated for three (3) minutes before returning a defense verdict finding no negligence. This particular jury deliberation is believed to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest, in any court within the United States.