$16MM Verdict for Traumatic Brain Injury After Fall in Lowe’s Home Center
A slip and fall accident in Las Vegas, Nevada resulted in an eleven-day trial where the jury returned a verdict of more than $16 million to a plaintiff who fell in a Lowe’s Home Center, fracturing her skull and causing a hemorrhage in the front of her brain. Because of her injuries, she has suffered from multiple long-term medical issues such as chronic neck pain, headaches, anxiety and depression, issues with balance, and she has forever lost her senses of taste and smell.
On the date of the fall, the plaintiff, Kelly Hendrickson, was walking through a Lowe’s garden department when she was purchasing plants for her new home. At the same time, the watering system for the plants in the store created puddles in the areas where customers walked. Although a warning cone was placed within the puddle itself, there were no warnings in the surrounding areas of the puddle and the cone was not visible to Hendrickson when she turned the corner into the aisle where she fell.
After plaintiff’s fall, three different Lowe’s employees passed her without offering to help. Another customer and her daughter came to her aid. As Hendrickson waited for further help to arrive, she asked for a bottle of water, which the cashier required her to purchase. Help arrived and she was taken to the hospital. Upon examination in the emergency room, medical professionals discovered her injuries, including a skull fracture and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
The jury found that plaintiff proved continuing injuries which began immediately following the accident. She continues to suffer from: (1) regular migraines with extreme light sensitivity, (2) permanent loss of smell and taste, (3) partial detachment of the left retina resulting in a left eye lag, and (4) a cervical disc bulge. Due to the injuries, she is fatigued very easily and is not able to be as active with her family as before. She also is not able to drive herself any more.
Hendrickson’s attorneys argued that Lowe’s did not have an effective plan to protect its patrons from falling, and brought in twelve individuals who testified they had also fallen in local Lowe’s stores in the preceding five-year period. They presented evidence that Lowe’s acted with reckless disregard for the safety of their customers by not taking precautions such as placing mats on the wet areas, blocking off areas when spraying, or providing sufficient drainage.
The plaintiff also made a claim for the spoliation of evidence because Lowe’s failed to preserve videos produced by one of Lowe’s 28 cameras, despite that a demand was served by the plaintiff within seven days. As a result, the Court instructed the jury that they could “draw an adverse inference from the fact that the evidence was not preserved.”
After six hours of deliberation, the jury concluded Lowe’s was negligent and awarded a $16,400,000 award in favor of the plaintiff. The award was broken down as follows: future medical expenses, $1,900,000, lost earnings/earning capacity, $30,000, past pain, suffering, anguish, and disability, $2,500,000, future pain, suffering, anguish, and disability, $12,000,000, totaling $16,430,000. The trial jury also found the plaintiff to be 20% at fault, resulting in a total amount won by the plaintiff to be $13,144,000.
Broussard, David & Moroux is a Lafayette based law firm consisting of attorneys which have the experience and expertise necessary to handle cases of this nature. The attorneys at Broussard, David & Moroux will fight to obtain fair compensation for any damages or injuries you or a loved one has suffered as a result of the negligence of another. Contact the attorneys at Broussard, David & Moroux to discuss your legal rights at (337) 233-2323(local) or (888) 337-2323 (toll-free).