In January 2015, Partner Bart Ridley and Associate Heather Bocell successfully defended a retailer in a Hunt County District Court and obtained a dismissal of Plaintiff’s premises liability claims immediately prior to jury selection. Plaintiff alleged that the retailer’s management failed to conduct routine inspections of the sales floor, and if done, would have discovered soda on the floor which caused her to fall and suffer injuries to her back and lower extremities. In addition to emergency medical expenses, Plaintiff sought the recovery of damages for physical pain and mental anguish, and physical impairment for her ongoing severe back pain.
During November 2014, Partner Bart Ridley and Associate Heather Bocell secured a jury finding of “no negligence” in favor of a defendant retail establishment. Plaintiff filed suit in a Denton County District Court, and alleged that while shopping, she slipped and fell due a large puddle of water accumulated on the floor near the check-out registers. Plaintiff claimed that the retailer was negligent because store employees were in close proximity to the puddle, but failed to warn of or correct the unsafe condition. The evidence at trial established that Plaintiff had walked through the same location at least twice in the minutes before her fall, but she also did not see the water on the floor.
During a three day jury trial in a Collin County District Court also occurring in November 2014, Partner Bart Ridley and Associate Heather Bocell obtained a favorable verdict on behalf of a grocery store. The Plaintiff alleged that she slipped in water that had leaked from a refrigerated case resulting in injuries which necessitated a lumbar fusion surgery. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award over $2.4 million dollars in damages for medical expenses, mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, permanent physical impairment, and lost wages. The jury determined that the defendant’s negligence proximately caused Plaintiff’s fall, but only awarded Plaintiff a total of $75,000 in damages. The jury’s findings with regard to Plaintiff’s damages were significantly less than any previous settlement demand made on behalf of Plaintiff, and represented an outcome that the defendant could not have achieved absent a jury trial on the issues.