Trip and Fall Case Yields $200,000 Verdict in Franklin County

Case Caption:  Sharon Truax vs. Royston Animal Hospital, PC
Civil Action File Number 10-FV-0297-H
Court:  Franklin County Superior Court
Judge:  Hon. John H. Bailey, Jr.
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Kevin M. Elwell, Farah & Farah, Brunswick; Bruce A. Maxwell, Johnson & Ward
Defendant’s Attorneys:  John A. Dickerson, McClure, Ramsay, Dickerson & Enscoe, Toccoa
Alleged Damages:  Broken leg requiring surgery. $73,000 in medical expenses
Verdict: $200,000
Date of Verdict: November 8, 2011

Summary:  A woman in her late 50s took her tiny Chihuahua to the Royston Animal Hospital to have her nails clipped in March, 2008.  After the manicure/pedicure, Plaintiff, dog in hand, was instructed to leave through a side entrance.  Plaintiff rounded a corner on the way out, then tripped and fell over a large animal scale, snapping her thigh and hitting her head hard enough to lose consciousness.  (Efforts to determine what happened to the Chihuahua during the fall have failed).
The defense argued that the scale was open and obvious, as well as that the Plaintiff may have had a vision problem.  Plaintiff even admitted that had she been looking at the floor, she would have seen the scale.  However, Plaintiff countered with evidence that the scale was not obvious from the direction Plaintiff was traveling, due to the corner.  After deliberating for almost 3 hours, the jury returned a $200,000 verdict.

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