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.