California State Court Awards $ 2,073,373.80 To Homegoods Customer Who Fell At Store, Suffering Ankle, Hip, And CRPS Injuries
On April 19, 2013, plaintiff K. Kaur drove to defendant Homegoods, Inc.'s store in Fresno, CA, to return four dinner chairs she had previously purchased from defendant. At that time, defendant's employee, Alyssa Avina, went to plaintiff's vehicle in the parking lot with a flatbed cart to load and transport the chairs into the store. Avina loaded the four chairs on the cart and began pushing it toward the store. As she approached the store, the chairs became unstable and fell to the ground. In response, Avina asked plaintiff to walk beside the cart and hold the chairs in place to prevent any further falls. Plaintiff complied with this request and both continued pushing the cart toward the store entrance.
At that point, the parties' versions of the facts diverged. Plaintiff later maintained that as they arrived at the threshold of the front door to the store, Avina angled the cart toward plaintiff and pushed it into plaintiff, causing her to lose her balance and fall to the ground. Defendant, however, maintained that plaintiff stepped into the flatbed cart, and thus, was solely responsible for the trip and fall incident.
On March 9, 2015, plaintiff filed a negligence action against defendant in the California Superior Court for Fresno County. The matter proceeded to a two-week jury trial held by Judge Jeffrey Y. Hamilton.
During trial, plaintiff maintained that she had suffered three injuries as a result of the incident. First, plaintiff underwent right ankle repair and reconstructive surgery to repair two torn ligaments in her right ankle in October of 2014. Second, plaintiff argued that she required future surgery to her right hip to repair a torn labrum identified on MRI. Finally, and most seriously, plaintiff claimed she developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) as a direct result of the minor trauma suffered during the trip and fall, and that the subsequent right ankle repair and reconstruction aggravated and worsened the CRPS.
Defendant argued that the right ankle reconstruction and repair was not clinically indicated and that it was an unnecessary and improper procedure amounting to professional negligence by the surgeon who performed the surgery. Defendant further argued that the right labral tear in the hip was degenerative and not causally related to the accident. Finally, defendant contended that because the right ankle repair and reconstruction procedure was unnecessary and improper, defendant was not responsible for the CRPS, which defendant claimed was solely caused by the surgery.
On May 31, 2017, the jury reached a verdict in plaintiff's favor, awarding her a total of $2,073,373.80.
Plaintiff was represented by Jacob J. Rivas of Law Office of Jacob J. Rivas. Defendant was represented by Michael Dolan of Dolan & Associates.
Lexis Advance Subscribers may view the complete summary, including expert witness information, here: K. Kaur vs. Homegoods, Inc; 2017 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 1613.
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