Store owners in New York have a responsibility to keep their premises safe and free from hazards. Slippery floors should have proper signage, for example, and any other dangerous conditions should be repaired or blocked off so that people visiting the store are not injured. Unfortunately, too many property owners do not take this duty seriously and end up putting people in danger.
One such negligent property owner recently faced a premises liability lawsuit after a visitor to the retail store was seriously injured in an accident. Not only was the owner ordered to compensate the victim for his injuries, but a jury determined that the victim deserved even more than the requested compensation.
The accident happened in 2011 when the man was visiting his local Walmart store. While he was strolling through the aisles shopping, he slipped and fell on a sign that had fallen to the ground. That one small accident caused the man to suffer a permanent injury that doctors refer to as a "popeye deformity." The man will now have to live to with abnormal bulges in his arms as a result of his fall.
The victim held the store responsible for their negligence in keeping their store premises safe. Had an employee simply picked up the fallen sign, the accident could have been avoided. The man requested $600,000 in compensation from Walmart. During the hearing, there were concerns that the sheer size of the retail giant would make it difficult for the victim to get a fair trial. However, a jury decided that the man not only deserved the compensation he requests, but he deserved more and awarded him $1.3 million.
Property owners who are negligent and do not take steps to repair unsafe conditions put innocent people in danger. In the event of an accident at a retail store, mall or other public space, property owners can be held liable for the costs associated with medical bills, lost wages and other financial obligations that result.
Source: WPBF, "Man who suffers from 'popeye deformity' after Walmart fall awarded $1.3M," Feb. 8, 2013