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ARTICLE ID 188943

$________ – PREMISES LIABILITY – FALL DOWN – FAILURE TO CLEAN VOMIT FROM FLOOR OF DEPARTMENT STORE – SLIP AND FALL – TWO THORACIC DISC HERNIATIONS.

Palm Beach County, FL

The plaintiff alleged that she was a customer in the defendant’s JC Penney Store when she slipped and fell as a result of vomit which had negligently been left on the floor by the defendant. The defense argued that it had no notice of the condition and no reasonable opportunity to clean it before the plaintiff’s fall. The defendant also claimed that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent.

The plaintiff testified that she was in the defendant’s store in Wellington, Florida, and was walking with her husband in the jewelry department when she slipped and fell as a result of what turned out to be vomit on the floor. The plaintiff claimed that she could not see the vomit because it was almost the same color as the floor.

One of the defendant’s employees testified that, shortly before the plaintiff’s fall, she told the jewelry manager that there was vomit on the floor. In addition, the plaintiff testified that just before she stepped in the throw-up, another store employee yelled “watch out.” The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was negligent in not stationing an employee near the hazard to warn customers, not posting warning cones and otherwise failing to warn of the slippery condition.

The plaintiff was in her late 40s at the time of the fall. She was diagnosed with two thoracic disc herniations which her physician causally related to the fall. The plaintiff was treated conservatively without surgery. She sought $________ in past medical expenses. The plaintiff returned to her prior employment with an insurance agency she had just started with her husband. However, the plaintiff alleged that her fall-related injuries will cause a loss of future earnings because she will be unable to work at her previous level and will be forced to retire some five years earlier than planned.

The defendant argued that the store was well-maintained and a reasonable floor cleaning policy was in effect at the time of the plaintiff’s fall. The defense contended that someone had become sick shortly before the plaintiff’s fall and its employees had no opportunity to clean the fall before the plaintiff slipped and fell. The defendant’s medical expert opined that the plaintiff’s diagnostic films were normal and did not show thoracic disc herniations as alleged. The defense also disputed the plaintiff’s claim for loss of future earnings, arguing that she had returned to work at her previous salary.The jury found the defendant ________% negligent and awarded the plaintiff $________ in damages.

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