A federal judge has awarded a Palm Beach County woman more than $677,000 in damages in a case where she was injured after a display of tables fell on her while shopping at a Burlington store.
According to the April 12 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida filing, the woman petitioned the court for a final default judgment in her claim against Burlington Inc. Her petition stems from Burlington’s failure to appear, answer or plead the complaint.
The case involves the woman’s claim against Burlington after she suffered injuries while shopping at a Palm Beach County Burlington store in July 2016. While she was looking at a display of tables at the store, the suit says, the entire set fell forward with some of the tables striking her.
She underwent a series of medical treatments, including spinal surgery and was told she needs knee surgery as well. In addition, she is entitled to damages for pain and suffering since she can no longer do many activities, such as dancing and jogging, that she enjoyed prior to the accident.
In regard to the woman’s negligence claim against Burlington, the court agreed Burlington “breached its duty owed to the plaintiff by creating a hazardous condition on its property” and stating the woman “clearly satisfied the elements of a negligence claim.”
The woman requested the court award $215,824 in pecuniary damages that included past medical bills, future medical expenses, out of pocket expenses and lost wages. In addition she requested $500,000 for past pain and suffering and $250,000 for future pain and suffering, as well as prejudgment and post-judgment interest.
The judge concluded the woman was entitled to $677,745 in damages and ruled in favor of the woman and against Burlington.
Store owners have a duty to keep their premises free from hazards and unsafe conditions for shoppers. Retail stores have a duty to make sure that their customers are protected, which means that they need to fix dangerous conditions in the store or provide adequate warnings of all dangers. They must inspect the aisles and shelves constantly to be sure the areas are safe.
Retail store owners that breach their duty to keep their store safe can be held accountable under Florida’s premises liability law. The most common type of retail store negligence cases involve slip and fall or trip and fall accidents, but store owners may be responsible for numerous other types of injury accidents, like inadequate security, failure to warn customers of dangers, or hazardous objects.