November 20, 2008

Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
Managing Partner
305-670-1101 Ext. 1023


David M. Tarlow

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. – Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB), Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB) trial attorney, David M. Tarlow (Ft. Lauderdale office), obtained a defense verdict in a premises liability matter on behalf of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. On November 20, 2005, the then 38-year-old plaintiff slipped and fell in water while attempting to grab a shopping cart from the cart corral stall. The plaintiff admitted seeing a caution cone in the middle of the cart corral stall but did not associate its placement there as a warning of danger as to the area where she fell.
The plaintiff alleged that Wal-Mart was negligent in maintaining its premises and by failing to properly warn the plaintiff of the water that had been allowed to accumulate. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that Wal-Mart failed to dry mop the wet floor and did not place floor mats to maintain the area.
Plaintiff underwent arthroscopic surgery due to a comminuted fracture to her right patella sustained from the fall. According to her treating physician, future knee replacement surgery would be necessary, and perhaps – due to her age – as many as two surgeries would be required. A consortium claim was also made.
Surveillance video captured the entire incident. Pre-suit, Wal-Mart accidentally erased the portion of the tape depicting the accident during videotape preservation. Wal-Mart claimed that the portion of the video that had not been erased accurately depicted the condition of the store’s floor immediately preceding the accident. The court excluded the video from being introduced as evidence at the time of trial. The defense argued that it had adhered to store operating procedures for rainy weather through the actions of its employees, which included handing out umbrella bags, drying off shopping carts, and placing two caution cones in the area where the plaintiff fell.
Claims requested from the plaintiff totaled $600,000.00. The jury returned a defense verdict finding no negligence on the part of Wal-Mart.
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is a civil defense firm with a wide variety of litigation services for healthcare companies, healthcare facilities, physicians and other healthcare licensed professionals and their insurers. The firm’s Litigation Department also provides general liability defense for all businesses, insureds and insurance companies. Our practice groups and industry-based teams ensure clients have access to attorneys with the best expertise, regardless of location. QPWB maintains a tightly integrated network of six fully staffed offices throughout Florida with attorneys licensed in several states.

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