A woman, who injured her lower spine when slipping and falling in a Stop & Shop store, has settled her injury claim for a slip on a grape in a supermarket.
Bonnie Gutierrez (50) was shopping with her husband – Milton – on 31st October 2010 at her local Stop & Shop. As the couple waited their turn by the checkout, Bonnie walked into the adjacent land to throw an item into a wastebasket.
As she moved towards the wastebasket, Bonnie slipped on a grape on the floor and fell hard on her back. She was taken to a nearby emergency room by ambulance, where she was treated for pain in her lower back, x-rayed and advised to see an orthopedist.
The orthopedist diagnosed Bonnie with an annular tear and a herniated disc, and administered a course of treatment which included four epidural steroid injections, three nerve blocks, and two discograms. Bonnie also underwent lumbar fusion surgery and a year of physical therapy.
However, none of the treatment has been able to relieve Bonnie of a pain in her back. Since her accident, the ongoing pain has prevented Bonnie from returning to work. She is unable to bend or lift, cannot sit or stand for long periods of time, and experiences broken sleep because of the pain when she changes position.
After speaking with a lawyer, Bonnie made an injury claim for a slip on a grape in a supermarket – alleging that the floor surface in Stop & Shop was hazardous. Bonnie claimed in her action that both she and her husband had seen squashed grapes on the floor by the checkout, and that there were dust balls and other unidentified debris littering the supermarket.
Stop & Shop denied negligence and disputed the injury claim for a slip on a grape in a supermarket. Stop & Shop argued that the floor of the supermarket was reasonably clean and that Bonnie was the creator of her accident by failing to watch where she was going. The supermarket also claimed that Bonnie was comparatively negligent.
With the dispute of liability continuing, a date was set for Bonnie´s injury claim for a slip on a grape in a supermarket to be heard at the Somerset County Superior Court. However, shortly before the hearing was scheduled to commence, Bonnie agreed to an out of court settlement of her claim amounting to $950,000.