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Jury awards $2.79M in Kroger lawsuit

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Kroger plans to appeal the decision of a Gwinnett County jury to award $2.79 million to the plaintiff in an injury case against the retailer.

A Gwinnett jury returned the verdict on Aug. 10 after a week of testimony, according to attorneys for the plaintiff. Atlanta attorney Michael Lawson Neff said his female client, 27 years old at the time, was walking through the floral department of a Fayetteville Kroger in June 2008 when she slipped and fell.

"The store had allowed a puddle of clear liquid to accumulate on its white floor, near a refrigerated cooler filled with cut flowers in water," Neff said in a statement. "The woman badly injured her right wrist and developed complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)."

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders describes CRPS as "a chronic pain condition that is believed to be the result of dysfunction in the central or peripheral nervous systems." It is typically triggered by tissue damage.

According to Neff, Kroger claimed that the store's video camera system was not working on the day of the fall. The store's "sweep log" for the day was reportedly blank.

Experts testified to "at least $1.1 million in lost wages and future medical and homecare bills over the course of (the plaintiff's) remaining lifetime as a result of the fall," Neff said. The plaintiff and husband were awarded $2.79 million.

Glynn Jenkins, the director of communications and public relations for Kroger's Atlanta division, said the grocery chain plans to appeal the decision.

"Kroger respects the opinions of the jury involved in this case," Jenkins said in a statement. "We are evaluating the verdict and have decided to appeal the decision. Our highest priority remains the safety and quality of our products, customers and associates."

The large award was the second reached against Kroger by a Gwinnett jury this year.

In January, a local jury awarded $2.3 million to a Douglasville man after he slipped and fell on crushed fruit at a Kroger store there in 2008. Gwinnett State Court Judge Joseph Iannazzone also issued a ruling in the case, determining that Kroger had destroyed and manipulated key video evidence.

Comments

HonestIngine 2 years, 1 month ago

Boy, That's a lot of Bacon...Gwinnett Jury's sure are free with other peoples' money, like the cop, who died while cheating on his wife in a threesome... That one still takes the cake...

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kevin 2 years ago

You should check to see how many on the jury were under middle class citizens first. I have had jury experience in such trials and it never fails. Low income folks always give big judgements when rich companies are defendants. Period. Any 'decent" judge should know this and adjust the verdict.

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kevin 2 years, 1 month ago

This is such a joke $2.7 mill for a wrist from falling. Hope they checked to make sure her medical records didn't already have a wrist problem. I hope they appeal and win! No matter what, this is way out of line with the injury. I might add. Whenever a civil case involves money to a big company, the majority of the jury, usually made up of low income people, always vote huge sums of money to the injured. It is standard procedure in such cases. I have witnessed this in many cases I sat in on. There is no changing the minds of these jurors that feel a big company has the "bread" so let them pay through the nose. I also have first hand knowledge of a person that fell and broke a wrist and they all settled for $10,000. This verdict is a disgrace to justice.

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Mack711 2 years, 1 month ago

What a lot of citizens fail to realize in a case like this is where is Kroger going to get the money to pay for this as well as the Lawyers? Some may say that they have insurance and that will take care of it. With a payout that large their insurance premeium will surely go up, right. when expenses go up the cost of goods at Kroger also rises and that means that us, the customer pays. This is a ridiclous amount for the injury no matter whose fault. it is time we had some type of reform to prevent large suits or some will close their doors and jobs will be lost.

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Don_Coyote 2 years, 1 month ago

Tort reform is badly needed but not limiting how much a plaintiff can be awarded as has been proposed in the past. There are cases where lifetime care is truly needed through no fault of the injured party. Limit the amount an attorney can make to their normally exorbitant hourly rate times the amount of billable and provable hours spent on the case.

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kevin 2 years ago

a good doctor can fix a broken wrist easily. May need another surgery in a few years but that would be the most, unless you go to a quack.

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JimmyOrr 2 years, 1 month ago

If you think this lawsuit indicates the need for Tort reform, this one pales in comparison to the woman suing the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones saying her behind was badly burned while sitting on a black marble bench outside Cowboys Stadium. Her claim is that the black marble bench was sitting in direct sunilight on a hot August afternoon before a Cowboys scrimmage last year in which, according to a weather official, the temperature that day reached a high of 101 degrees. The woman claims she didn't know the extent of her burns until after receiving medical attention and claims she underwent skin grafts. Now here is the proverbial "kicker" the lawsuit says there were no warnings about sitting on the benches in hot weather. I agree with Mack & Coyote that we need Tort reform.

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lfm1221 2 years, 1 month ago

What a complete crock! Dang... I was just at Kroger. Wearing my slick flip flops. I should have fallen down and sued. NOT! Cause I'm still responsible for looking where I'm walking. That is insane!

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roaads1 2 years, 1 month ago

Not one person on this forum listened to the evidence, knows what this woman went through and what her life has been and will be like. It sounds like the 12 people that heard the evidence thought a big part of it would go to past and future care. But don't let facts get in your way. I don't have the facts either so maybe none of us should pass judgement on this lady or the jurors until we have all read the transcripts. Or you could just say "wow that's a lot of money and no one deserves a lot of money". Which of course shows ignorance if the evidence is not known by that person.

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sister 2 years ago

Thank you for stating a clear fact. No one heard the evidence and no one knows what this woman is going through. Those 12 jurors did hear the evidence and testimony of all those involved with the case. They made this decision and I thank you for not passing judgement where so many others have already.

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kevin 2 years ago

This judgement was based on "future" claims. The future is not for sure, but the judgement is. A disgrace to the justice system. Bring on the tort reform ASAP.

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teelee 2 years, 1 month ago

The lawsuit lottery, you gotta love it! Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, can't wait to start seeing the TV commercials on this type of injury. This is the same reason why our healthcare and medications cost so much.

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John_Smith 2 years ago

"The store had allowed a puddle of clear liquid to accumulate on its white floor, near a refrigerated cooler filled with cut flowers in water," Kroger claimed that the store's video camera system was not working on the day of the fall. The store's "sweep log" for the day was reportedly blank.

This lady played a slot machine and hit three 7's. They just need to have a P.I. tail her until they catch her break dancing or something else that would disprove her CRaPS.

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sister 2 years ago

Ignorance is bliss I guess...she didn't play a slot machine. Her life is forever changed because of this and you think some PI is going to catch her doing something like break dancing. Really, until you know facts, you shouldn't open your mouth...

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