A employee pushes purchasing carts in entrance of a Walmart retailer in La Habra, Calif. (Jae C. Hong/AP file)
Army veteran Henry Walker was making an attempt to purchase a watermelon at a Walmart in Alabama when his foot acquired caught in a picket pallet. When he turned, the 59-year-old fell, breaking his hip.
Walker sued Walmart over the 2015 accident, and an Alabama jury has now dominated that he must be awarded $7.5 million.
“You don’t expect to go into a grocery store walking fine on your two feet and come out on a stretcher,” Walker’s legal professional Shaun O’Hara advised AL.com.
A Walmart spokesman mentioned the corporate plans to enchantment.
“We are disappointed in the verdict,” mentioned the spokesman, Randy Hargrove. “We appreciate the jury’s service, however we believe that the damages awarded were excessive in light of the facts of this case.”
[Walmart blasted after an online ad includes the n-word]
The incident unfolded on June 25, 2015, when Walker went to a Walmart retailer in Phenix City, Ala., in response to courtroom paperwork.
Walker reached to select a melon from a show, and his foot turned lodged within the pallet below the watermelon container. He turned, unaware that the pallet was there, and fell and shattered his hip, courtroom paperwork state.
He sued the retail large on claims of negligence and wantonness. Attorneys offered the case Tuesday and Wednesday in Russell County Circuit Court.
Walmart had a duty to its clients to offer a protected setting and will have identified the pallet may trigger an harm, his legal professionals argued. But the corporate mentioned the show was not harmful, in response to a Wednesday courtroom submitting.
The jury deliberated for about two hours late Wednesday earlier than ruling in favor of Walker, awarding him $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
“I think this jury appreciated what Mr. Walker went through and they compensated him accordingly,” one other one in every of his attorneys, David Rayfield, advised the Ledger-Enquirer. “This is a great verdict for the community because this jury wanted to make sure it was safe for shoppers.”
Jurors reviewed safety footage from the shop and noticed that Walker wasn’t the one particular person to get his foot caught within the facet openings of a picket pallet on the ground, O’Hara mentioned.
Hargrove, the Walmart spokesman, mentioned he couldn’t touch upon using picket pallets or the chain’s security procedures, saying the case is an “ongoing matter” for the reason that firm plans to enchantment.
O’Hara advised AL.com that the incident “completely changed Henry Walker’s life.” Among different issues, the Army veteran who used to play basketball three days every week now wants to make use of a walker, he mentioned.
“He is no longer able to do everyday activities that many of us take for granted,” the legal professional mentioned.
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