Department store settles woman’s slip and fall case for $200,000
A 75 year old woman received a settlement of $200,000 after falling in an undisclosed major retail department store. The retailer operates stores in Columbia, Missouri. Jane Doe was injured when she slipped and fell in the cosmetics section. The fall happened in an aisle where eye pencils were in an open display case. The plaintiff was diagnosed with a fractured hip, which required surgery. About a year later, she underwent another surgery to replace the entire hip, which had never healed properly because of an infection. The plaintiff claimed the defendant was responsible for $75,000 in medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. According to a store employee who was the first on the scene, no objects were on the floor in the area of the woman’s fall and the customer had told him her high heels were slippery. But a report by store employees sent to photograph the area said they saw eye pencils on the floor. After suit was filed, store employees testified that nothing was on the floor where the plaintiff fell. The eye pencils that were photographed were dropped by another customer they said. The parties mediated the case one month before trial and settled. With no offers on the table, The A.W. Smith Law Firm, P.C. attorney Aaron W. Smith said the turning point was when he disclosed his expert witness: a former store manager and professional engineer who would testify as to the safety of the location of the eye pencils that were accessible even to children.