Fell over an empty pallet in a drug store...

by Bill
(Pulaski, TN)

I was shopping at a well known, national chain drug store about 8pm on 7/4/13. I was walking through the store and I turned right at end of the aisle, not knowing there was an empty pallet about 3 inches high that had contained a Pepsi display (the empty Pepsi crates were stacked in the adjacent aisle).

I fell across the pallet and into the empty containers in the next aisle. The store manager the next day told me that a customer had brought all the Pepsiā€™s in the display and the night manager had neglected to remove the empty pallet.

Should I get a lawyer for this and how much compensation would be fair? I've had pain and suffering, plus I have a fear of falls because of my age. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Fell over an empty pallet in a drug store...":

Bill (Pulaski, TN):

Fortunately it appears you weren't seriously injured. The drug store had a legal "duty of care" to protect you and other customers from undue harm and injury. In your case they clearly failed in their duty.

If you had been injured, a reasonable settlement amount would be a multiple of 2-4x the amount of your medical bills, depending on the type and severity of your injuries. This is a traditional formula used to estimate settlement amounts.

The multiple is meant to take into account the clients' medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses for medications, lost wages, and pain and suffering, also called emotional distress or mental anguish.

In your case, absent medical bills, the drug store's insurance company will likely want to settle your claim for what they refer to as a "nuisance" amount. They know you probably wouldn't win at trial, but don't want to have to hire an attorney to fight the case.

In your case, $500 would appear to be an acceptable settlement, unless you can prove your injuries with medical treatment records, then you could get more.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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