Actual Case (not mine): $1,000,000 Verdict for the pain and suffering damages for a 57-year-old female shopper who slipped and fell. She fractured the distal end (end closest to the knee) of the femur (thigh bone).
*This verdict was before deduction for attorney’s fees and expenses.
She had open reduction internal fixation with screws and plated put in her femur.
She had physical therapy for 2 weeks while she lived at a facility where therapy could be done. She then had physical therapy for 6 months but she did not have to live at the center that provided physical therapy.
On 2006, the shopper was walking into Costco in North Miami Beach, Florida when she slipped and fell at the entrance. Learn more about slip and fall injury claim against a Florida Costco Wholesale store.
It was raining. She claimed that it was very slippery and there were no warning signs on the day of the fall. There was normally an awning (covering) which would let people in cars get dropped off and picked up in front of the entrance to Costco.
Costco employees usually set up barricades on rainy days so that cars could not drive up to the awning. The shopper claimed that on the day of the fall the area was not blocked off and there were no wet floor signs there.
Costco had slip and falls in the same area before this shopper’s fall. The shopper argued that Costco should have used a different flooring surface before her fall to prevent slip and falls from happening.
Costco claimed that the shopper should have known to be more careful because it was raining on the day of the fall. The shopper claimed that one leg is now shorter than the other and she walks with a limp.
She says that she suffers from post-traumatic arthritis, balance problems, and her knee swells. She says that she had pain every day, and she is limited doing her most enjoyable activities such as dancing. Her attorney argued that she will probably need 2 future knee replacements.
Costco was 55% at fault and the shopper was found to be 45% at fault. So the total verdict of $1,345,000 was reduced to $737,000. The shopper claimed $128,000 in past medical costs and $217,000 in future medical costs. The verdict was in 2009. The case is Tamir v. Costco.
I could not find an opinion from an appeals court for this case so I assume that it was not appealed. Costco may have thought that the amount awarded for pain and suffering was reasonable.
I know that this was a bad injury because, in part, the shopper spent 2 weeks living in a rehab facility. I am assuming that she had health insurance that covered her stay.
Health insurance can be picky when it comes to approving your stay at an inpatient rehab facility but in this case I believe the health insurance company felt that her broken femur (thigh bone) was a very bad injury.
I believe that the jury awarded the shopper $1,000,000 in pain and suffering along because the shopper claimed $128,000 in past medical costs and $217,000 in future medical costs.
Assuming $1,000,000 was awarded in pain and suffering, this is above the general settlement range for a fractured femur. However, perhaps the jury awarded $1,000,000 in pain in suffering because they believed that the woman will need the 2 knee replacements that were mentioned above.
I am not sure whether the jury awarded the medical costs mentioned above. I do not believe that any money was claimed or awarded for lost wages. This case shows that it is possible to have a case if you slip and fall at a store entrance in the rain and are injured.
In Florida, even if you are partially at fault in an accident, you may still have a case to get money for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
So if even if you are 99% at fault in an accident in Florida, and Costco (or another store) is only 1% at fault, you may be able to get money for 1% of your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
If you are 45% at fault, you may able to get money for 55% of your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
The same applies if you are hit by a Costco truck or involved in any type of accident caused by Costco. The fact that there were other reported slip and falls in the same area probably helped the shopper’s case.
Generally speaking, the more slip and falls that other people have had in the same area that you fell helps you prove that the store is at fault.
I have to give the attorneys for the shopper credit for taking this case to trial. I say this because slip and fall cases can be difficult, and are even more difficult if it is raining at the time of the accident.
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