Wicker Smith’s Cammack and Draughn obtain defense verdict in a premises liability matter

POSTED MAY 31, 2024

Cammack and Draughn obtain defense verdict in a premises liability matter

Partner Krista Cammack and Associate Oscar Draughn of Wicker Smith’s Orlando office obtained a defense verdict in a premises liability matter in May on behalf of a major department store client in Volusia County, Florida.

This case arose from an incident outside the department store’s location at a Daytona Beach shopping mall. While exiting the store on a rainy day, the plaintiff slipped and fell on an access ramp, allegedly sustaining injuries to her back, right knee, right ankle and right foot. She underwent extensive chiropractic care, a microdiscectomy surgery, nerve root decompression and steroid injections as a result of her alleged injuries. Her medical bills were in excess of $120,000, mostly paid via letters of protection.

Plaintiff alleged that the defendants failed to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition and also failed to warn of the dangerous condition. The trial team argued, and defense experts testified, that the defendants met industry safety standards by painting the ramp yellow and including additives in the paint to give it a non-slip finish; and, further, that the plaintiff failed to prove that the paint or the maintenance of the ramp was the cause of her fall and her subsequent injuries. The plaintiff’s medical records showed that she had sustained prior back injuries and undergone a prior back surgery as a result of a car accident several years ago, and her current injuries were degenerative and not a result of the incident at the store.

After a four-day trial, the jury found no liability on the part of Wicker Smith’s client. Due to a pending Proposal for Settlement, the firm’s client will be entitled to seek fees and costs.

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