Wal-Mart Slip and Fall Lawsuit Verdict of $10M Approved on Appeal

The Colorado Supreme Court has upheld a $10 million verdict in a slip-and-fall lawsuit filed against Wal-mart by a truck driver who suffered spinal injuries while making a delivery. 

The complaint was filed by Holly Averyt, 41, who slipped and fell on ice and grease at a Wal-Mart in Greeley, Colorado in December 2007.

Averyt suffered spinal damage from the fall, had to undergo multiple surgeries, and could not work following the work accident. As a result of the injury, Averyt’s truck, which was also her home, was repossessed and she suffered $500,000 in medical expenses.

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A Colorado jury awarded Averyt $15 million, which was later reduced to $10 million due to Colorado tort reform laws. However, a Colorado judge granted Wal-Mart a new trial in the case in February, saying that Averyt’s legal team was late in turning over evidence of the grease slick that caused the fall.

Following appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court, the trial judge’s order for a new trial was overturned and the verdict was reinstated. The appeals court pointed out that the evidence in question was of public record with the City of Greely, which Averyt obtained by simply calling the city.

“The Greeley report is a prime example of the kind of document that a party should not be required to disclose,” the court’s opinion states. “Averyt and Wal-Mart were on equal footing with regard to the ability to obtain the report.”

The justices rejected arguments that the evidence prejudiced the jury unfairly, and thus led to an excessively punishing financial award.

“Rather, any prejudice that the jury may have harbored was due to Wal-Mart’s initial refusal to produce evidence of or admit the existence of the grease spill,” Colorado Supreme Court Justice Nancy Rice wrote. “Regardless of the effects of Wal-Mart’s imprudent tactics, there is sufficient evidence in the record to support the jury’s award.”


  • RobinDecember 31, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    What about Surveillance Camera's? It would that viewing the mannerisms and even zooming may have had an effect. Documents, yes must meet deadline.

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