Frank D’Oro (trial counsel), Jill Levy and the Los Angeles W&Z defense team obtained a defense verdict on Wednesday October 26, 2016 on a slip and fall case. The case occurred at the Ralphs in Granada Hills in August 2013, where the plaintiff, a 57 year old female, slipped and fell on water directly adjacent to a satellite floral display. Plaintiff was treated entirely on a lien and incurred bills just over $10,000 with a recommendation for future surgery costing $35,000- $50,000. Plaintiff’s radiologist diagnosed her with a “possible ACL” tear and her orthopedist recommended surgery. Despite this diagnose, the last time plaintiff was treated was three years ago. Offers up to $25,000 were made before trial but plaintiff demanded $95,000. Video of the accident showed some customers selecting bouquets of flowers (which were kept in buckets of water) from the satellite floral display about 15 minutes before plaintiff fell.
The defense argued that the unidentified customers were the source of the spill because they failed to put the flowers in the plastic bags that were near the floral display. There was footage of an unidentified employee wiping the floor on the other side of the display just minutes before the accident which plaintiff argued was sufficient to establish constructive notice. Ultimately, Frank convinced the jury that there was no evidence that the employee cleaning the floor near the accident site did anything wrong or that there was a trail at that point that should have led him to the location of the accident nearby. Insofar as damages, plaintiff’s orthopedist testified at deposition that plaintiff had an ACL tear and even pointed to images from the MRI that demonstrated the same. At trial, he was impeached with images showing there was no tear. His opinion there changed to she had a meniscus tear, not a ACL tear. Plaintiff testified in tears that she failed to get regular treatment because she had to take care of her terminally ill brother. The jury returned a defense verdict for Ralphs.