Millions of people in Alabama and around the country visit big-box retailers like Walmart, Costco and Target every day, so it is not surprising that slip-and-fall accidents are not uncommon in these stores. Large retailers have teams of lawyers that are tasked with handling slip-and-fall claims, but they are not always easy to deal with. This is because these attorneys know that slip-and-fall plaintiffs sometimes find it difficult to convince juries that they were not acting negligently themselves when they were injured.
Big-box retailers are expected to do all that they reasonably can to protect shoppers from dangerous conditions that they either know about or should know about, and shoppers are expected to pay due care and attention at all times. When a customer slips and is injured, companies like Walmart often claim that they ignored warning signs or did not look where they were walking. They can also introduce footage recorded by security cameras in premises liability lawsuits to support these arguments. Some retailers even have nurses or doctors on hand to assess injuries before customers are transported to hospital.
$16.4 million verdict
This all means that big-box companies are more likely to fight slip-and-fall claims in court than smaller retailers, but taking that path does not always work out well for them. In April 2016, a Nevada woman was awarded $16.4 million in compensatory damages in a case she filed against Lowe’s. The woman fell on a concrete floor and suffered a permanent head injury because water had seeped from a row of potted palm trees. The jury concluded that Lowe’s acted negligently and should have addressed the danger even though security footage showed that a warning cone had been placed in the vicinity.
An expensive mistake
Big-box retailers deal with a lot of slip-and-fall claims, so they know how to fight them. If you are injured in a store like Walmart or Target, you can expect to be accused of negligence by lawyers who have litigated dozens or even hundreds of these cases. However, that does not mean you should be deterred. When retailers choose to take slip-and-fall cases to court, it can be a very expensive mistake. This is because juries tend to come down hard on defendants with deep pockets in cases where the plaintiffs have suffered serious injuries.