A woman in Cleveland was awarded $1.3 million by a jury earlier this month for injuries she suffered when she was struck by a motorized shopping cart.
The 71-year-old victim was shopping at a Giant Eagle market in late 2012 when she was struck by a motorized cart operated by another customer. On impact, the victim was thrown four feet, struck her head on a shelf and suffered neck and head injuries, according to the lawsuit.
Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle is one of the 40 largest privately held and family-operated companies in the United States. The supermarket chain serves more than five million customers annually at nearly 400 retail locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Giant Eagle posts more than $9 billion in sales annually and is ranked 27th on Forbes magazine's list of top private companies in the United States.
The personal injury lawsuit accused grocery store employees of failing to provide customers with appropriate instructions on how to use the carts. In addition, the plaintiff's attorneys claimed the company had a “history of corporate negligence” with regard to the use of motorized carts. In court, the victim's attorneys presented evidence documents showing 119 accidents in nine years involving the motorized carts.
The victim asked for an award in excess of $75,000. The jury agreed with the plaintiff's complaints and awarded her $120,000 in compensatory damages and $1.2 million in punitive damages.
Compensatory damages refers to money awarded to compensate for actual losses such as future earnings, medical bills, and funeral expenses. Punitive damages are considered punishment and awarded when the defendant's behavior is found to be especially harmful.
This is not the first time a jury awarded a large sum to a victim of a shopping cart collision.
In 2013, a New York jury awarded a 52-year-old newlywed $9.9 million for medical costs and pain and suffering after a shopping cart came loose from a specially designed escalator at a Brooklyn Costco. The woman suffered an injury that triggered a rare neurological condition called complex regional pain syndrome. It diminished her mobility, causing her to walk with the assistance of a cane. She also had to give up her career as a multimedia artist.
And, in 2001, a Connecticut jury awarded a woman $258,000 in a negligence lawsuit against a Kohl's department store after the wheels on the shopping cart she was pushing jammed and "sheared off the front of her shins," and caused other injuries. The woman, who was 74 years old at the time of the incident, suffered extensive injuries to her face and legs, which were cut to the bone by the bottom of the shopping cart and required extensive surgery and skin grafting.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a company's recklessness or neglect, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the offices of trial attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian at 800-529-6162 or contact them online. The firm handles cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.