A California woman was recently awarded almost $415,000 in a slip-and-fall lawsuit against a Costco store. The woman shattered her knee cap after slipping on liquid soap that probably leaked from a cart.
"She has a lifetime of partial loss of function and mobility and pain expected for the rest of her life," the woman's lawyer said.
The lawyer added that the store denied responsibility for the spill and refused to enter into settlement negotiations, where many premises liability lawsuits are resolved.
Costco was ultimately unable to overcome the evidence that its employees walked by the area of the spill before the customer fell. In California, stores have a duty to provide safe environments for their customers and can be held liable if they do not adequately warn customers of hazards such as spills.
The woman is recovering, and was awarded $89,868.28 for her past and future medical expenses. The woman will have to undergo several surgeries and she has already had one surgery in which the surgeon wired her kneecap back together.
The woman is reportedly "very satisfied" by the resolution of the case and it is unclear whether the Costco where the spill happened has enacted any procedures to prevent similar situations from occurring.
Source: Pasadena Star-News, "Covina woman awarded $415,000 following slip and fall at Industry Costco," March 7, 2012