On April 5, 2005, plaintiff Liria Lopez, 49, a self-employed house cleaner, entered a Minyard Food Store on the corner of Abrams Road and Gaston Avenue in Dallas. It had rained that day and water had accumulated in the store’s foyer area. As Lopez exited, she slipped on the water.
Lopez sued Minyard Food Stores Inc., alleging premises liability. She claimed that other customers had fallen in the same area under reasonably similar conditions about 18 months earlier. She also maintained that on the day of her accident there there were no warning signs or mats placed in the foyer, nor were there any warnings from store employees prior to her fall.
Lopez’s walking surfaces/traction expert testified that the manner in which Minyard addressed the water issue in the foyer was below the standard of care. After looking at the records, he said Minyard did not adequately handle the continuing problem of a wet slick floor on rainy days.
Minyard argued that an assistant manager had just finished mopping the exit pathway of the foyer before Lopez left the store. It also contended that there were mats on the floor, warning signs, and that the assistant manager had warned two customers ahead of Lopez as they were exiting the store.
The defense’s walking surfaces/traction expert claimed that the store was reasonable in the precautions it took, and that there was really nothing else that could have been done to prevent the wet floor in the foyer area due to the quick spring storm.
Lopez was transported from the store to a local hospital via ambulance. She sustained a fracture to her right knee. In mid-April, hardware was put in the injured knee. In 2007, that hardware was removed and the knee was scoped.
Lopez also claimed she sustained a closed head injury that was not diagnosed for approximately two years. Due to the injury, Lopez has a movement disorder, trouble with language and concentration, memory lapses and slurred speech. She requires constant care and supervision. At the time of the incident, Lopez lived with a high-school aged daughter, but due to the injury, she and her daughter had to move in with a relative.
The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgery expert claimed that Lopez’s knee injury was caused by the slip-and-fall incident in the store. He said Lopez will more than likely have arthritis for the remainder of her life and might need a knee replacement in the future.
The plaintiff’s neuropsychology expert testified that Lopez’s brain injury was also caused by the incident. The plaintiff’s neuroradiology expert read Lopez’s MRI and concluded that it showed a brain injury that could only be caused by trauma.
The plaintiff’s vocational assessment expert originally noticed Lopez’s closed brain injury through his assessments, which showed there were cognitive problems. He testified that Lopez was unemployable due to her cognitive and physical injuries.
The defense’s neurology expert argued that the fall did not cause Lopez’s brain injury. His opinion was based in large part on the mechanism of the fall and that there were no medical records documenting any neurological problems or findings for over two years after the incident. However, he noted that the findings in her brain MRI were abnormal and could only be caused by a trauma.
The defense’s orthopedic surgery expert contended that there was not sufficient documentation in the medical records to warrant the second knee surgery to remove the hardware and scope the knee.
The jury returned a verdict for Lopez and awarded her $4,433,000.
$3,000,000 Personal Injury: Future Medical Cost
$150,000 Personal Injury: Past Physical Impairment
$675,000 Personal Injury: Future Physical Impairment
$95,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering
$500,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain And Suffering
$8,000 Personal Injury: Past Disfigurement
$5,000 Personal Injury: Future Disfigurement
If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, dangerous drugs, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Personal Injury Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.