A man who offered to settle his slip-and-fall personal injury case with grocery mega-store Kroger for $400,000 went on to be awarded $700,000 by a jury. On top of that, he may be entitled to an extra $35,000 because of personal injury laws in his state.
In this issue, we’ll talk about what happened.
The Case at a Glance
The elderly victim, then 75, was shopping in a Georgia Kroger store with his wife when he slipped in a puddle of water in the produce section. The injury he suffered required surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.
He also experienced symptoms of a concussion and now has limited arm mobility.
Fake Inspection Documents And An Offer to Settle Rejected
Just after the victim filed his personal injury lawsuit, he submitted a settlement offer of $400,000…which was promptly rejected by Kroger.
As the case went to trial, Kroger submitted inspection documents that stated that the area where the victim fell had been inspected and was dry.
Incredibly, Kroger’s own security video proved the inspections had been falsified as they showed that the employee responsible for inspecting and sweeping the area was actually bagging groceries at the time of the incident.
An Extra $35,000?
At the conclusion of the trial, the jury awarded the victim $700,000. But because of laws in the state of Georgia which state that a party whose offer to settle is rejected is entitled to almost 125% or more of that offer if the jury eventually rules in their favor, the victim may be entitled to another $35,000.
What Does Settling Mean?
As we’ve discussed before, knowing when to offer or accept a settlement is a decision best left to the judgment and advice of your lawyer.
The word “settlement” is a term used to describe a formal ending to a legal dispute without the involvement of a jury’s verdict or judge’s ruling.
There’s no etched-in-stone rule on when settlement proposals can be offered. They can happen late in the process of the lawsuit itself or even before a lawsuit is filed.
While the ultimate decision on whether or not to settle is up to you – the client – your lawyer knows the tendencies of juries and how the legal system typically plays out. Because of that, their advice on whether or not to settle should be valued.
Remember, your lawyer will go through any every aspect of the settlement details to make sure your best interests are served.
Let The Fitzgerald Law Firm Fight For You
If you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries to cover medical expenses, lost wages, etc.
For a free consultation, call us here at The Fitzgerald Law Firm; our number is 800-323-9900.