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Alleged negligent security at Wal-Mart store - Plaintiff struck with glass jar - Head laceration - Alleged memory loss.

Orange County

The plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s Wal-Mart store lacked adequate security to prevent an assault upon the plaintiff in the store. The defendant argued that the assault upon the plaintiff was neither foreseeable nor preventable.

The plaintiff, a man in his 40s, testified that he shopping in the defendant’s store in Apopka, when a man, whom he had never met before, struck him in the head with a jar of salsa. The assailant was convicted of battery in connection with the incident. There was no evidence as to why the assailant struck the plaintiff.

The defendant employed security personnel for the parking lot, but only loss prevention employees inside the store. The plaintiff argued that the crime was foreseeable in light of prior incidents involving the police on the premises within the two years before the plaintiff’s injury.

The prior incidents included a lady slapping an obese woman’s wrist for eating potato chips, a woman butting another woman in the checkout line, youngsters struggling over a bag near the store entrance, a youngster bumping into a girl, a drunk refusing to let go of a taxi cab and pushing a police officer in the parking lot and a would-be shoplifter throwing a VCR at a store employee.

The plaintiff’s security expert testified that the presence of a uniformed, armed guard inside the store would have made it less likely that the plaintiff would have been assaulted. The plaintiff sustained a head laceration and required several procedures for removal of embedded glass. The plaintiff complained of memory loss associated with the head injury.

The defense contended that additional security measures would not have prevented the attack upon the plaintiff.

The jury found no negligence on the part of the defendant which was a legal cause of injury to the plaintiff. The defendant filed a proposal for settlement in the amount of $________. The plaintiff filed a proposal for settlement in the amount of $________. The defendant waived fees and costs. The plaintiff waived post-trial motions and appeal.

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