Plaintiff allegedly tripped over an older rubber floor mat while entering our client’s pizza shop sustaining a herniated disc resulting in permanent, intractable, neck and arm pain. Plaintiff’s counsel argued the floor mat was formerly an industrial indoor kitchen mat not intended for outdoor use and which, with time and exposure to the elements, had curled up and become a hazard – photographs introduced at trial supported this claim to some extent.
Our Harrisburg based partner, Rolf Kroll, focused upon inconsistencies in the Plaintiff’s testimony and the absence of objective evidence supporting her injuries. Despite adverse rulings, including the preclusion of any evidence demonstrating lack of notice of the dangerous condition, and allowing Plaintiff to argue spoliation (the mat was thrown away after photographs were taken), at the conclusion of the four-day trial, the jury returned a verdict finding Rolf’s client only 60% responsible for the happening of the accident and limiting Plaintiff’s general damages after reduction for causal fault to $3,600 in past and future pain and suffering. Plaintiff had previously rejected offers for significantly greater amounts.