GWC Attorney Obtains $400k for Woman Injured at a Department Store

Injured at a Department StoreGWC Injury Lawyers attorney Bennett J. Baker recently obtained a $400,000.00 settlement for a client who was seriously injured at a department store when she slipped and fell on tissue paper that an employee had negligently dropped on the floor.

On November 23, 2012, the client, a 76-year-old woman at the time, went with her granddaughter to a major department store, located in Lincolnwood, to shop on Black Friday. After several minutes in the store, she and her granddaughter came upon a shoe display in the children’s department. The client was steps away from the display when she noticed that a store employee was throwing boxes and tissue paper onto the floor. She then slipped and fell on a piece of tissue paper that the employee dropped on the floor, resulting in extreme injuries.

Extreme Injuries

The client suffered a broken left femur because of her fall, which required surgery the next day, followed by in-home physical therapy. More than four years later, during which the client developed hip pain so severe that she could no longer walk, her doctor diagnosed her with an irregularity of the left femoral head with sclerosis and lucency. This condition required a total hip replacement, which her doctor testified is common with patients who have her type of fracture. In order to be cleared for the second surgery, she needed to have nine teeth removed so that nothing could be dislodged during the procedure, eliminating the possibility of infection.

“Our client’s life was profoundly impacted by her injury,” Mr. Baker said. “Before this incident, she used to cook, do laundry, stitch, sew, and embroider on a regular basis. She also liked to play games with her granddaughter and teach her about art. She enjoyed socializing with people at her temple. But because of her constant pain and her fear that she could fall and injure herself again, she can’t really do any of these things as well anymore. This event changed everything for her.”

Multiple Witnesses

In building his case, Mr. Baker obtained the testimony of multiple witnesses among the store’s workers. First, the store’s loss prevention manager testified that the employees had a “take five” meeting before the store opened that day. One of the issues discussed was slip-and-fall prevention – specifically, the sales associates’ responsibility to pick up debris off of the floor, something the employee in question should have done to prevent injuring the client.

The loss prevention manager also testified that she arrived at the scene of the client’s fall within a couple of minutes after the incident and noted that she had tissue paper on her shoe. The loss prevention manager subsequently filed an accident report that stated that the client “was walking through the kids’ department with her granddaughter and slipped on a piece of tissue paper.”

“The tissue paper was also white, the same color as the floor tiles,” Mr. Baker added, “hindering our client’s ability to see it.”

The store manager served as a second witness, verifying that the client fell because of the tissue paper. Finally, the children and intimate department manager also testified that there was “a lot of the tissue paper on the floor” near the area where the client fell. The tissue paper was used in the store’s shoe boxes. As she further testified, as the shoes were sold, employees would bring out new stock and reshelve items, as the employee in question did. The employees would not remove the tissue paper from the shoe boxes before restocking them, since it would be too time-consuming and the store had insufficient manpower to do so.

$400,000.00 Settlement

Based on the evidence Mr. Baker assembled for his client, including the testimony of multiple store witnesses and of her orthopedic surgeon, he was able to settle her case against the store for $400,000.00 on June 29, 2017.

If you have suffered a personal injury because of someone else’s negligent actions, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To schedule a free consultation with one of GWC’s personal injury attorneys, call our office 24/7 at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives.