A jury has awarded a man from Port St. Lucie, Florida almost $1.3 million in his lawsuit against Wal-Mart for a 2011 slip and fall. The jurors were quite sympathetic to the injured man as they awarded twice what was requested in the suit.

The 41-year-old man was shopping at the Wal-Mart on S.W. Gatlin in Port St. Lucie in May 2011 when he slipped on a sign that had fallen off of a Gatorade display. He suffered a horrifying injury to his right bicep tendon, commonly referred to as Popeye deformity. This injury causes the tendon in his bicep to bulge. The man has endured three surgeries in two years, one of which placed an Achilles tendon from a cadaver into his arm to help restore some of his strength. His medical bills passed the $200,000 mark, and he has been unable to return to work as a beverage distribution manager.

The jurors found that Wal-Mart was 90 percent negligent when they set up the Gatorade display. They deliberated for about four hours before returning with the $1,287,144 verdict.

Wal-Mart’s store surveillance cameras caught the incident on tape; however, Wal-Mart’s attorneys argued that the plastic screws Gatorade provided were not strong enough to keep the sign attached to the display. In addition, the attorneys said the company was not negligent because there was not enough time for employees to pick up the sign before the accident happened.

The injured man’s attorney provided evidence from Gatorade which showed that the sign could not have fallen off the display if it had been assembled according to the directions provided by Gatorade. The sports drink company also said that Wal-Mart was responsible for maintaining the sign.

Slip and fall cases often result in serious injuries, leading to loss of work, permanent disability and massive medical bills. By pursuing loss of income, pain and suffering, and future medical care claims against those who are negligent, funds may be obtained for rehabilitative services, occupational therapy or other necessary treatments.

Source: wptv.com, http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/region_st_lucie_county/fort_pierce/tom-papakalodoukas-walmart-lawsuit-jury-awards-port-st-lucie-man-13-million-in-walmart-lawsuit, Paul Ivice, Feb 8, 2013