On Wednesday July 8, 2009, a Prince George’s County, Maryland jury returned a verdict for our client in the amount of $67,553.14. This Prince Georges County Maryland premises liability case award consisted of $6,102.99 in past medical expenses, past lost wages in the amount $1,450.15, and $60,000.00 in non-economic damages (i.e. pain and suffering, lost income, etc.).
The plaintiff slipped and fell on a puddle of standing water that was in the entrance-way (inside the store) at a BJ’s Wholesale store located in Bowie, MD. The plaintiff entered the store, took 3 steps, and slipped and fell on the water/slippery surface. She suffered a hairline fracture to one of the bones in her elbow, and a soft tissue injury to her right shoulder. She had orthopedic care, she was in a cast for 4 weeks from wrist to elbow, had to undergo injections, missed time from work, and had to request that accommodations be made at work when she returned.
After 3 months of consistent, steady medical care, she only had 6 more medical visits over the past 18 months.
The Defendant BJ’s first claimed in the case, in written discovery, that there was no dangerous condition. Then it discovered in depositions that the standing water was a recurring problem caused by rain entering the inside of the store through a space at the bottom of the entrance/exit doors. In fact, the lost prevention manager of the store told a fellow staff member to put out “wet floor” sings in the entrance-way before the store opened.
Nobody did it.
The defense challenged every part of the case. They argued that our client did not really trip on the water and that she fell over her own two feet. Then they argued that, even if she did slip and fall on the water, it was an open and obvious defect and she was negligent for not avoiding it before he fell. They challenged the damages part of the case also.