In Jacksonville, a young lawyer named Mitch Stone recently charged a 1 million dollar suit for his client Valerie Dantzler. In 2005 Valerie Dantzler slipped on a puddle of water at a Walmart in Jacksonville. A slip and fall suit was filed against mega-retailer, Walmart in 2010. After careful deliberation the jury reached a consensus, placing 80 % of the blame on Walmart and 20% on Dantzler. The court awarded Dantzler $800,000 in past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and past and future damages for pain and suffering.
Slip and fall suits such as these are common, but plaintiff victories are rare. Settling is almost never an option for big companies, most likely because companies like Walmart do not want to set a precedent of paying out slip and fall victims merely for bringing forth the charge. In this case though, Walmart was in flagrant violation of negligence, and thus, absolutely liable for damages.
Dantzler walked into Walmart in 2005, recently recovering from a shoulder surgery. Dantzler slipped on a puddle in Walmart and suffered irreparable nerve damage on her should as a result. Walmart presented evidence that safety sweeps had occurred. But, Wal-Mart also destroyed the security tapes, and failed to investigate Dantzler’s claim that the floor was wet after it happened.
$1 million dollars for a slip and fall case is uncommon. But Dantzler was unable to resume her job as bank teller and return to the office as a result of the injury. The lost wages she suffered were immense and debilitating to her quality of life. Her lawyer Mitch Stone was not surprised with the court’s decision: “I think the jury just realized it was just wrong.” Walmart however responded to the recent decision by claiming that they’re considering a post-trial appeal.