A truck driver who slipped and fell on grease and ice while making a delivery to a Walmart in Colorado has been awarded $15 million in a premises liability lawsuit.
The Walmart slip and fall lawsuit was filed by Holly Averyt, 41, who suffered spinal injuries as a result of the incident in December 2007. As a result of the her injuries, Averyt has undergone several surgeries, lost ownership of her truck and is no longer able to work as a truck driver.
According to documents produced by the plaintiff’s attorney during the trial, a grease trap in the store’s deli failed to work as it should, resulting in the spill.
Following trial, a jury in Weld County determined last month that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was negligent in failing to take reasonable care to protect Averyt from injury on its property.
The jury awarded $4.5 million for economic losses, $5 million for physical impairment and $5.5 million for non-economic losses. The $5.5 million in non-economic losses could be capped at either $450,000 or $900,000 due to Colorado tort reform laws, according to a report by the Grand Junction Free Press. The economic losses and physical impairment awards would not be affected, however.
Wal-Mart officials have said that the company disagrees with the verdict and they are considering whether to file an appeal.
Property owners are required to take reasonable care to ensure that areas of their property that are likely to be used by visitors are safe from dangerous conditions or defects which could cause a slip and fall or other injury on the property. Premises liability lawsuits can include claims for falls resulting from leaks and spills, snow or ice that has not been properly removed or treated, defective pavement or steps, or hazards placed in walkways or paths.