A judge at the Superior Court of Los Angeles County has awarded a young woman $2.8 million compensation for a slip in a restaurant entrance.
Justine Kirby (30) made a claim for a slip in a restaurant entrance after injuring her back in a fall at the El Indio Restaurant in Pacoima on 6 March 2010. Justine was taken to hospital by ambulance where she was diagnosed with lumbar disc bulges and had to undergo a course of nerve block injections to relieve her pain.
Justine had two back surgeries within six months of the accident and still suffers from back pain and mobility issues which prevent her from working. Justine´s physicians have informed her that she will need a lumbar laminectomy in the future, as well as ongoing treatment to manage the pain.
After seeking legal advice, Justine made an injury compensation claim for a slip in a restaurant entrance against the owner and manager of the restaurant; claiming that both had been negligent in failing to maintain the property to a safe standard. The defendants denied their responsibility for Justine´s injury, and argued that Justine´s accident had not occurred as she alleged and that she was exaggerating her level of injury.
The case went to the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in Van Nuys and was heard by Judge Bert Glennon Jr., who was told that the restaurant had a downward slope from the entrance patio which was open to the elements and paved with indoor floor tiles which had no slip resistance. The judge also heard evidence that the restaurant had previously been cited for health and building safety code violations – including one violation relating to the tiled flooring in the restaurant entrance which was never corrected.
Judge Glennon found in Justine´s favor; ruling that the two defendants could have avoided the accident from occurring by having floor mats at the entrance to the restaurant, overhead protection in the entrance area, and a handrail alongside the sloped entranceway. He awarded Justine $2.8 million in injury compensation for a slip in a restaurant entrance which was made up of $1,500,000 compensation for Justine´s personal injury, $973,000 for her lost earnings and $327,000 for the medical costs she had already incurred and those she was likely to face in the future.