Walmart is less than thrilled after hearing the verdict of the Alabama jury, awarding $7.5 million to Henry Walker, a customer who broke his foot and hip at Walmart's premises in Phoenix City - all while the man was just trying to buy a watermelon. Talk about getting the good end out of a bad injury!
In June 2015, Walker, an athletic 59-year-old Army veteran, was trying to reach a watermelon on display when his foot got stuck in an unsecured pallet, causing him to slip, fall, and unfortunately break his hip. Walker sued the company, claiming that his injury could have been avoided if the pallet had been properly covered or signalized. - basically a case of negligence and wantonness. An Alabama jury has considered his claims righteous and compensated the veteran's damages with $7.5 million.
Walmart considered that the client should have been aware of the danger of the pallet and could have taken a better care of himself. During the court case, they claimed that the injuries where the result of the client's own negligence, taking no blame whatsoever on the happenings.
In spite of this, the jury was shown the evidence of security footage, where other clients could be seen getting their feet caught in the pallet. The amount of evidence and the claim was enough for the jury to fail in favor of Mr. Walker, for Walmart's outrage.
In words of Walker, the jury's decision "hopefully will encourage the retailer to use pallet wards". However, the decision has not caused much of an impact for Walmart, up to this day, the grocery store keeps displaying their watermelons in the same way.
The company is not in the least happy about the decision, considering the award out of proportion, considering the facts, and is planning to appeal the jury's verdict.
Shaun O'Hara, the veteran's lawyer, is quite satisfied with the result and considers that the jury has appreciated that Walker went through, raising awareness about client safety in stores and malls. As well, he claims that the incident has severely affected the life of the former soldier Mr. Walker, who is now struggling to do everyday activities as usual, and has changed his basketball training, three days a week, for a walker that allows him to move around.
The company's appeal is expected in the next days, although there are no news in this regard on their end yet.
It looks like Mr. Walker had a life changing incident indeed!
Will his newly acquired money make up for his lost mobility?
Source: chicagotribune, bbc,