A jury has awarded a shopper more than $2.5 million compensation in settlement of her Costco injury compensation claim made after a slip and fall accident.
On 8 June 2011, Yvette Gastello (35) was walking into her local Costco at Van Nuys in Los Angeles, when she slipped on fluid outside of the store that had accumulated due to a subcontractor washing out a temporary porta potty stall.
Although she did not feel any immediate injury, Yvette started to experience pain in her lower back three days later. She visited a chiropractor and an acupuncturist, but her pain persisted and Yvette was ultimately referred for an MRI by her doctor.
Yvette was diagnosed with an aggravation of a pre-existing spondylosis condition in her lumbar vertebrae. She underwent anterior and posterior lumbar fusion surgery, and made a Costco injury compensation claim after learning that the surgery would have been unnecessary had she not been hurt in the slip and fall accident.
The claim against Costco and the sub-contractor who had been washing out the temporary porta potty stall was heard at the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, where the jury was told that both defendants were jointly negligent due to their failure to warn customers of the hazard and divert them away from the slippery area.
Defense lawyers argued that Yvette was the author of her own misfortune by failing to look where she was walking when she entered the store. As Yvette could not remember under questioning whether she had seen the subcontractor using a hose before or after she fell, defense lawyers argued that she might not have noticed any sign warning of the hazard either.
The jury found in Yvette´s favor, and awarded her $2,856,000 compensation in settlement of her Costco injury compensation claim – subsequently reducing the award by 10 percent to reflect her comparative negligence. 50 percent liability for Yvette´s injury was attributed to the subcontractor, with the remaining 40 percent liability attributed to Costco.