Slip & Fall at Hotel Yields Plaintiff $3.6 Million

Case Caption:  Christine Garland v. Crestline Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Civil Action File Number 2008EV005405J
Court:  Fulton State Court
Judge:  Honorable Diane E. Besson
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Peter J. Ross, Devon Atchison, Ross & Pines
Defendant’s Attorneys:  Darryl Haynes, The Law Office of James McLaughlin
Alleged Damages: Torn wrist and pectoral tendons; related nerve problems in shoulder and elbow; plaintiff underwent six surgeries and will need two additional surgeries
Verdict: $3,654,807 ($215,207 past meds, $1,109,600 post pain & suffering, $320,000 lost wages, $10,000 future meds, and $2 million for future pain & suffering)
Date of Verdict: June 15, 2011

Plaintiff, an attractive, physically fit 35-year-old professional woman, was attending a conference at an Atlanta hotel in 2007, when she slipped on a marble floor wet from rain.  The Plaintiff landed on her arm, injuring her wrist and shoulder.  She required multiple surgeries on her pectoral muscle, shoulder, and elbow and eventually had to stop working.

Plaintiff sued the hotel for negligence, arguing that the floors were dangerous and that the hotel had failed to warn of the danger.  The defense countered, arguing assumption of the risk and comparative negligence.  The hotel argued that the rain and wind had started suddenly and that on her own initiative, Plaintiff, wearing heels, was walking quickly to assist her co-workers in closing the door, at the time of her fall.

After just four hours of deliberation, the jury awarded Plaintiff over $3.6 million.  Observers attempting to explain the verdict, pointed to a very sympathetic Plaintiff and to inconsistent statements made by hotel employees.

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