This is not my verdict. However, I talk about it so that it gives you a better idea to know how much your case may be worth if you slip and fall at a Florida Publix Supermarket.
It may also help you evaluate your case if you have a back injury at Publix or somewhere else. This case resulted in a $31,000 Jury Verdict for the pain and suffering component of the claim.
A female shopper slipped and fell in Publix Supermarkets in Marion County, Florida.
She alleged that she had to have back surgery (percutaneous discectomy) after she slipped and fell on a liquid substance inside of a Publix grocery store.
The breakdown of the total verdict of $202,688 is: $71,688 for past medical bills, $100,000 for future medical bills and $31,000 in pain and suffering. I believe attorney’s fees and costs were also awarded to the shopper. Publix apparently did not make an offer to settle throughout the case.
The shopper allegedly slipped and fell on a liquid near the cash registers at a Publix supermarket. Publix allegedly hired a billing expert who claimed that the shopper’s medical bills should have not exceeded $12,000.
Publix allegedly hired a doctor to examine the woman and he allegedly said that she was faking pain during his exam. The doctor hired by Publix apparently said that the woman was able to do much more than she told him at the exam that she could do.
The doctor also testified that she was not in as much pain as she told him she was in. The case number is 42-2010-CA-1524, Fifth Judicial Court of Marion County, Florida.
My thoughts: I am not sure how this woman was able to prove that Publix knew or should have known that the liquid was on the floor prior to her fall.
If she was in the area near the cash register for 15-20 minutes before her fall and she testified that she did not see any Publix employees or anyone spill a liquid substance, then she could argue that Publix should have known that the liquid was on the floor.
Perhaps the video camera did not show anyone spilling a substance in the 15 to 20 minutes or so before her fall. I congratulate her attorneys on the verdict. I think many other attorneys would have not taken this case to trial.
I do not know how much fault was placed on the shopper for not looking where she was walking. Perhaps the jury did not blame her. However, let us assume that the jury found her 60% responsible for her fall.
If this were the case, she would be entitled to collect 40% of the total jury award. This would be the case if the jury found that Publix was 40% responsible for her injuries.
Therefore, if the shopper in this case were 60% at fault, then she would be entitled to 40% of the total award. In this case, it would be $202,000 or so. Therefore, she would receive about $80,000 or so. Again, I am just using 40% as an example and that is not necessarily the percentage of her fault, if any, in this case.
This case is also a good example of the fact that Publix may argue that your medical bills are excessive. Just because your doctor states that you owe him or her a certain amount of money, this does not mean that the jury will award the amount of medical bills that you are claiming.
The jury could believe the testimony of the medical billing “expert”, that Publix hires, who may say that your bills are unreasonable.
A jury may only award you a percentage of the total medical bills that you claim are the result of an accident at Publix or another supermarket. Keep in mind that your medical bills, as is the entire jury award, are subject to being reduced by your percentage of fault.
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