Actual Case (Not my Case): $96,000 Verdict for Pain and Suffering alone for a female shopper who fractured her hip when she tripped over an object (a stocking cart) in a Publix Supermarket in Miami, Florida.
She had walked into the produce section to remove an item from one of the refrigerators when she tripped and fell over the stock float. The woman to in the picture is not the woman from the actual case.
The jury found her 60% at fault for not looking where she was walking, but the jury also found Publix was responsible for the incident. These means that because she was 60% at fault she is entitled to recover 60% of her total damages (medical bills and pain and suffering in this case).
She filed a lawsuit against Publix for allowing this tripping hazard to be in an area where shoppers were. She sued for her fractured hip, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, medical expenses and lost enjoyment of life.
Publix argued that it was not at fault, and that she should have been looking where she was walking. Publix also argued that she should have been expecting a stocking cart to be on the floor and they did not need to warn her.
The pain and suffering for her hip fracture was broken down as follows: $42,00 past pain and suffering, and $54,000 for future pain and suffering. This incident happened in 2011. The verdict was in 2013. The case is Bass v. Publix Supermarkets.
In most trip and fall cases against Publix, you have to prove that they knew or should have known that an item was on the floor for 15-20 minutes before you fell. In this case proving this is very simple because you can argue that of course Publix knew that the stocking cart when in the produce section because access to a stocking cart is limited to Publix employees.
In Florida, a shopper (whether in Publix or another supermarket) still has a case even if he or she is partially at fault. This case is a perfect example of this. Even thought the shopper was found to be 60% at fault, she still had a case.
The amount of money that was awarded for pain and suffering for this hip fracture is $21,000 above with the value that I suggest using as starting point for full value of pain and suffering for a hip fracture from a Florida accident, which is $50,000-$75,000. My research of this case shows that she did not have surgery on her hip. Claims adjusters normally award much more for pain and suffering in cases where you get hip surgery than those when you do not get surgery. This is because there is often great pain and suffering that comes along with a hip surgery.
Apparently she did not make a claim for lost wages. This is because she probably was not working at the time of the incident. She may have been retired. If she was working at the time of the incident, she could have had a claim for lost wages (money that she didn’t receive because she was unable to work).
Because I don’t know how old the shopper was, the future pain and suffering award of $54,000 does not help me that much for negotiating for future cases.
Generally speaking, a case is worth more if you are younger and you fracture your hip than if you are older.
This is because younger people are expected to live longer and will have more years of future pain and suffering and potentially more future medical bills than someone who is older.
Were you injured at Publix, did you fracture your hip at Publix or somewhere else? Was it a work-related injury? What caused your injury? Please ask me any questions below.
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