Miami Hairstylist collects $145,000.00 settlement for slip and fall at one of Florida’s largest retail stores

Attorney Jason MacriAuthor: Attorney Jason Macri

A 33 year-old Miami Hairstylist suffered a serious back injury when she slipped and fell at one of Florida’s largest retail stores. She went to the store, which was open 24 hours a day, to quickly grab some supplies for her newly born son. She was on her way to the diaper isle and as she rounded the corner of the isle when she slipped and fell in a large amount of water which was present on the floor. She fell forward, landing on her knees first and then her face, breaking a tooth in the process.

As she tried to get herself up off the floor, she noticed two employees standing nearby who appeared to have seen her fall. One of the employees walked over to her and asked if she needed any help. She responded that she did and the employee left the scene to get the manager. The other employee remained nearby to clean up the water which was present throughout the isle. The manger finally made his way to the scene and helped our client get up off the ground. He brought her to another area of the store and created an incident report.

Our client quickly bought the diapers and some other items and limped out of the store in great deal of pain because she needed to get back to her baby boy who was being watched by his grandmother. After arriving back at the house and making sure her son was ok, she explained to her mother what happened to her at the store and how much pain she was in. Her mother suggested that they drive to the hospital to make sure she was ok. A couple of hours later she was sitting in the ER being checked for back and facial injuries. She was later discharged with a facial contusion and a back sprain.

Our client awoke the next day and was as stiff as a board. She couldn’t voluntarily get herself out of bed. Her lower back was killing her and she knew at that point something was seriously wrong. She was able to get an appointment with a back specialist who, after several weeks of treatment and testing, advised her that the cause of all of her low-back pain was a large herniation of the lumbar spine. He advised that he would need to perform some minimally invasive back procedures in order to help alleviate the pain. She felt that she had no other options considering the amount of pain she was in, so she scheduled the procedures which took place several weeks later. She noticed a marked improvement in her lower back and continues to improve each day.

A claim was made against the retail store where we alleged that they were negligent for allowing the water to accumulate on the floor and not warning customers of this danger. The insurance company for the store denied that they were liable and refused to compensate our client for her injuries. We filed a lawsuit against the store with every intention of proving this case to a jury. Initially, the depositions of a store employee and manger did not go well. Each person testified that the store had been in the process of waxing the isle at the time of the incident and had taped the isle off with yellow caution tape. They stated that our client ignored the yellow caution tape and attempted to step over the tape when she tripped and fell.

Clearly, we became concerned about the testimony of these witnesses but continued to press on and take the deposition of the other employee who was on the scene at the time of our client’s fall. That employee testified that they were not in the process of waxing the isle and had not placed any yellow tape in the area before her fall. Instead, he said that he was notified of a spill in the isle and was responding to the scene in order to clean it up when our client slipped and fell.

Armed with this clearly conflicting deposition testimony, our lawyers felt very confident about the potential outcome of a jury trial. Apparently, the lawyers hired by the insurance company did not feel confident about their case any longer as our lawyers were able to negotiate a $145,000.00 settlement for our client. We were able to pay all of her medical bills and compensate her greatly. She was very happy with the outcome and relieved that the whole ordeal was resolved.

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