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Another Philadelphia Jury Awards $1.5 Million for Slip and Fall --Notwithstanding Inconsistent Accident Footage

April 21, 2016

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A jury in Philadelphia County jury recently came back with a verdict in favor of a grocery store customer who fractured her wrist in a slip and fall.
In <a href="http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id=1202755034316/Grocery-Store-SlipandFall-Results-In-Phila-Jury-Award?mcode=1395262324557&amp;curindex=34"><em>Spencer v. Bottom Dollar Food</em></a>, the plaintiff, a 51 year old woman, fell on a sticky, wet floor. As a result of the injury, plaintiff required surgery to insert plates and screws.  A store employee could be seen on video cleaning the location of the fall subsequent to the fall; however, the video also shows other customers walking over the area without incident.  Additionally, plaintiff initially told store managers she slipped on a grape, which was inconsistent with the video.
Plaintiff demanded $100,000; however, after a three day trial, the jury issued a verdict in the amount of $1.5 million.  This verdict was despite medical expenses only in the amount of $8,332.  As a result of this award, Bottom Dollar was forced to file a motion for a post-trial remitter, calling the jury’s award “grossly exorbitant.”
This verdict is a surprising result for an otherwise mundane case.  This award is far above the special damages as established in the case, and is reflexive of the sometimes unpredictable and capricious nature of juries.  Overall, this verdict represents a worst case scenario.   It remains to be seen how the court rules on the post-trial motions.
Thanks to Konrad Krebs for his contribution to this post.

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