When a person is hurt because of the negligence of a business, individual, or branch of the government, he or she has the right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. With regard to economic damages, such as the costs of medical care necessitated by the accident and loss of income due to the injury, the amount due to the plaintiff is often easier to determine than compensation for non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
Generally, the determination of damages is within the province of the jury, although the trial judge has some oversight as to the amount. If either party believes that a reversible error has occurred, there is also the possibility of an appeal.
Facts of the Case
In the recent case of Glasgow v. K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc., the plaintiff was a man who was hurt at a Food City grocery store in Maryville, Tennessee, in 2012. In his complaint against the corporate owner of the store, the plaintiff stated that he lost his balance inside a restroom stall and grabbed a handrail, only to have the handrail pull away from the wall. As a result, the plaintiff claimed that he fell and hit his head, resulting in uncontrollable migraines (along with severe nausea and vomiting) in the years since the accident.
The case was tried to a jury in the Circuit Court for Blount County, Tennessee, and the jury found the defendant to be negligent with regard to its knowledge of and failure to fix the broken handrail. The jury awarded $350,000 in damages to the plaintiff, but the trial court reduced the verdict to $250,000 to reflect the amount that the plaintiff had sought in compensatory damages. The defendant appealed, arguing that the verdict was not supported by material evidence.
The Appellate Court’s Opinion
The court affirmed the circuit court’s judgment. The court first acknowledged that the defendant had not contested the issue of fault on appeal and that the parties had stipulated at trial that the plaintiff had incurred some $5,310 in medical expenses as of the time of trial. The court also noted that the plaintiff was 42 years old at the time of trial, that he was a veteran, that he had been enrolled in college at the time of the accident but missed the remainder of the semester due to his injuries, that he continued to suffer debilitating migraines, and that he was forced to change his field of employment because of the accident.
A Knoxville Premises Liability Attorney to Help with Your Slip and Fall Case
Going into a place of business should not result in permanent injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering. If you or a loved one is hurting because of the negligence of a grocery store, restaurant, or other establishment, experienced Tennessee premises liability attorney Mark Hartsoe at the Hartsoe Law Firm is here to help. To set up a free consultation at either our Maryville or Knoxville office, call us today at (865) 524-5657. We can also gladly come to your home for the appointment.
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