La Crescenta, CA (PRWEB) February 9, 2010 -
Robert F. Brennan, Esq. of Brennan, Wiener & Associates of La Crescenta has obtained a $500,000 gross verdict, reduced to $400,000 because of plaintiff's contributing negligence, in Kelly v. Ralph's Supermarket, Case No. SC 093 227. The jury rendered its verdict on January 26, 2010, in Dept. X of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Beverly Hills Branch.
The case involved a trip-and-fall over a partially-unloaded pallet at a Ralph's Supermarket at 1 in the morning, when Ralph's was restocking the shelves. Plaintiff Margaret Kelly of Boston, then 68 years old, contended that she had no warning or notice of the condition and Ralph's should have either put a warning cone where they were restocking or removed the pallet. Ralph's contended that Ms. Kelly saw the pallet and should have avoided it. Ralph's also contended that the pallet was not a tripping hazard, as there had been no prior reported trip-and-fall accidents involving partially unloaded pallets.
"At trial, Ralph's came very close to admitting that it had different safety procedures for the late evening/early morning hours, during restocking, than it had for the store's regular retail hours," comments Brennan.
"The jury was not persuaded by the fact that this was the first accident of its kind. Ms. Kelly and the plaintiff's witnesses were able to show that the partially-unloaded pallet was a tripping hazard and that Ralph's had policies against permitting tripping hazards to go untended during any open store hours. Ms. Kelly and I are both hopeful that Ralph's, and the other major supermarket chains, take the necessary precautions to create safe shopping environments even when the stores are being re-stocked."
Ms. Kelly suffered a fracture and a torn rotator cuff, both of which had to be surgically repaired. Her medical expenses were approximately $30,000.00. The balance of the verdict involved her pain-and-suffering damages and the effect of her permanent "frozen shoulder" injury upon her lifestyle.
"I'm sorry that it took this serious of an injury to impress upon Ralph's the seriousness of store safety. Ms. Kelly has lost much of the use of her right arm, but she feels that if this effects a change in Ralph's safety policies and procedures, then the process has worked justly."
Brennan, Wiener & Associates is widely recognized as the leading Southern California law firm on a wide range of consumer protection issues, including lemon law, car dealer fraud, identity theft, wrongful credit damage, unfair debt collection practices consumer protection class actions and landlord-tenant class actions, as well as serious personal injury cases. The firm enjoys an "AV" rating from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell ratings agency, which is the highest possible rating for an attorney or a law firm and is based on pre-eminence in both legal ability and ethics. Mr. Brennan has been selected as a "Southern California Super Lawyer" for five consecutive years.