10 Largest Slip and Fall Lawsuit Settlements and Why

A construction worker injured on the ground after a slip-and-fall accident. His yellow hard hat is next to him.

Slip-and-fall accidents have the potential to be life-changing because they can result in serious and long-term injuries that require expensive medical care. A broken bone is the most common slip-and-fall-related injury, but lower body trauma, such as spinal stress fractures, herniated discs, or torn ligaments, can also occur. 

Depending on the extent of the injury suffered, an individual may need months or even years of rehabilitation services. Many victims cannot return to work or hobbies due to physical limitations. This life-altering injury leaves many individuals feeling frustrated, drained financially, and struggling mentally with depression and anxiety.

As such, some of the largest slip-and-fall settlements have been from extensive and life-changing injuries.

1. Man falls into manhole in Philadelphia – $18 million

The defendant, Trigen-Philadelphia Energy Corporation, knew homeless people were removing manhole covers and seeking shelter in the city’s sewer system. Yet, they took no action to stop this from occurring. In 2004, a University of Pennsylvania medical student fell into a manhole and sustained a broken back and spinal injuries, preventing him from continuing his education. Initially, the jury awarded $85 million, but the parties agreed to cap the settlement.

2. Man falls from defective scaffolding in New Rochelle, NY – $18 million

A construction worker in New Rochelle, NY, took a serious fall from a defective scaffolding, injuring his back, neck, and ribs, and caused extensive fractures to his leg and foot. He also experienced ongoing pain and suffering. The jury awarded $18 million to him and his wife. His wife received $3 million for loss of companionship and consortium. 

Hurt in a slip and fall accident? You deserve compensation. Contact our team for a FREE case evaluation to see what your case may be worth.

3. Fall from an exam table in Covington, Georgia – $15 million

A truck driver in Georgia went to a clinic for a routine physical and needed to have blood drawn for some tests. The clinic employee instructed him to sit on an exam table while drawing his blood. After the employee was done, she turned away for a moment to reach for a band-aid when the victim passed out, falling forward and breaking his neck in the process.

The victim’s injuries left him paralyzed and unable to perform daily tasks independently. Attorneys argued that anybody having their blood drawn should either be lying down or in a chair with armrests to avoid a potential fall. The victim was awarded $12 million for his injuries and suffering, and his wife was awarded $3 million for how his injuries would affect her life.

4. Lowe’s Home Center in Las Vegas, Nevada – $13 million

A woman was shopping at a Lowe’s Home Center in Las Vegas when she slipped on a wet substance in the gardening department of the store. The hazardous conditions and lack of warning cones in plain sight were negligent and directly led to the fall. After her preventable accident, the victim experienced several symptoms, including:

  • A skull fracture
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Chronic headaches and neck pain
  • Anxiety and depression

The $13 million payout reflects the victim’s damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and physical and mental pain and suffering.

5. Convenience store in Williamsburg, Virginia – $12.2 million

While at a Miller Mart gas station convenience store, a woman slipped and suffered severe injuries. An awning was leaking and created a puddle near the front entrance in the walkway. She fell forward, and her head snapped back while landing on her chest and chin, leading to a brain injury and ongoing seizures.

As a result of the head injury and its symptoms, the woman could not fulfill her duties at work. The victim brought a slip-and-fall claim against the convenience store and its insurance companies and recovered $12.2 million for her damages, including lost wages and lost earning capacity.

The victim’s attorneys presented the case almost as a wrongful death claim saying the woman known to her family and friends had essentially died due to the accident.

Get the compensation you deserve after an accident. Contact the slip and fall lawyers at Adam S. Kutner, Injury Attorneys, for a FREE consultation.

6. Man falls off defective ladder in Wheaton, IL – $11.1 million

John Baugh fell off a defective ladder in 2006 and sustained brain damage and dementia, which required him to move into a nursing facility. He was using the ladder to reach the gutters on his home when a rail on the side of the ladder collapsed, causing him to land on his cement driveway.

The ladder manufacturer, Capcrum S.A., was found negligent after Mr. Bauch and his lawyer appealed an initial verdict in Cuprum’s favor in 2011. The new trial resulted in a federal jury awarding $11.1 million to Mr. Baugh.

walmart store entrance

7. Woman slips and falls at Walmart in Greeley, Colorado – $10 million

Another significant slip-and-fall claim happened after a woman slipped on a grease spill in a Colorado Walmart. Although the megastore tried to deny any spill occurred, evidence showed there was grease on the floor. The victim’s injuries could have been avoided if employees and management had taken reasonable care.

Although the victim was actually awarded $15 million, Colorado state law limited the pain and suffering damages to $366,250. The total payout to the Walmart slip-and-fall victim was just over $10 million.

8. Man slips on ice at construction site in Philadelphia – $10 million

Michael Little, a carpentry foreman, was working at a construction site at One Water Street in Philadelphia when he slipped and fell on ice in one of the building’s hallways in 2016. The extent of his injuries forced him to retire from his job. He also underwent five surgeries, is permanently disabled, and suffers from ongoing chronic pain. He and his attorneys were able to negotiate a $10 million settlement.

9. Man falls at Walmart in Phenix City, Alabama – $7.5 million

Walmart makes the list again for awarding an Alabama man $7.5 million after he fell in their store and broke his hip. While reaching for a watermelon in the produce section of the local Walmart, the victim became stuck in a wooden pallet used to move groceries.

The pallet was hidden underneath the box of watermelons, but there were no warning signs to let customers know of hazardous conditions. In fact, it should not have been there in the first place if the property owners and Walmart employees had exercised reasonable care to keep the premises safe for patrons.

Working with a premises liability attorney helped the victim recover for his damages, including $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

10. Man slips and falls at Starbucks in Vista, CA – $7.5 million

Anthony Zaccaglin slipped and fell inside a Starbucks as he went to pick up his order at the counter. The floor had been recently mopped, and only one warning cone had been put out. He hit his head on the cash register and lost his balance, causing his head to strike the concrete floor. A jury awarded him $7.5 million for his injuries and pain and suffering.

What is the average slip-and-fall settlement amount?

The amount a victim can recover for damages after a slip-and-fall accident can vary greatly depending on the circumstances — nationwide or here in Las Vegas, NV. In most cases, the total payouts awarded will be less than the numbers mentioned in this list. The average slip-and-fall claim can usually settle anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000.

Some things to consider when valuing a slip-and-fall case are damages the victim sustained, including economic and non-economic damages. Then, you must look at the extent of the damages. Some of these may include:

  • Medical bills (including future medical expenses)
  • Emergency transportation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Lost income
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages (in some cases)

What factors determine the size of a slip-and-fall settlement?

The factors used to determine the size of a slip-and-fall settlement include:

  • The extent of injuries
  • The time needed to heal
  • Whether full recovery is possible or if there will be ongoing medical issues
  • The ability to return to work
  • The impact on the immediate family

Are slip-and-fall cases hard to win?

Slip-and-fall cases can be difficult to win since the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. The plaintiff must show that the property owner was negligent in some way, causing their injuries. Therefore, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you prove negligence and win your case is highly recommended. 

How long does it take to settle a slip-and-fall lawsuit?

How long it takes to settle your slip-and-fall case will also depend on the unique factors of your case. It could only take a couple of months to get the compensation you deserve

In other instances, it can take years to build a strong case to maximize your settlement and give you a fair outcome. You must also factor in the time it takes the premises liability lawyer to get final costs for medical treatment and expenses, collect evidence, bring the claim, and negotiate a settlement.

Who pays damages in slip-and-fall cases?

The defendant’s insurance company typically pays for damages in slip-and-fall cases. However, the defendant may also be responsible for paying damages. Sometimes, multiple parties may be liable for damages depending on where and how an accident occurred.

How an attorney can help you after a slip-and-fall accident

An attorney can help to maximize the amount of compensation you receive after a slip-and-fall accident by:

  • Thoroughly investigating the scene
  • Determining who was liable for your injuries
  • Gathering evidence to prove your case
  • Interviewing experts on safety liabilities or hazards that could have led to your injuries
  • Submitting paperwork with the court
  • Negotiating with insurance companies
  • Attending hearings relevant to your case
  • Filing any appeals that may be needed

Ultimately an experienced slip-and-fall lawyer will work hard and ensure you get justice from those responsible.

Contact Adam S. Kutner, Las Vegas’ premier slip-and-fall accident lawyer

A slip-and-fall accident lawyer filling out paperwork at his desk while he speaks with a client. Next to him is a gavel and an open laptop.

When you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident in Las Vegas, you can count on the experienced lawyers at Adam S. Kutney, Injury Attorneys, to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We offer a free case evaluation and consultation to provide legal advice and help you determine how to proceed with your injury claim.

To learn how our team of slip and fall attorneys can help you, call our office today at (702)382-0000 or visit us online to schedule your free case evaluation.

Sources:

Dean, M. (2019). Carpentry Foreman Wins $10M Settlement of Lawsuit Over Injuries at Old City Construction Site.

Fender, J. (2016). Colorado Supreme Court Says $15 Million Award to Trucker Who Fell at Wal-Mart Should Stand.

Hrynkiw, I. (2017). Phenix City Man Sues Walmart After Fall, Awarded $7.5 Million.

Laux, K. (2016). Las Vegas Women Awarded About $13 Million in Lawsuit Against Lowe’s.

Man Gets $18 Million for Manhole Fall. (2008).

Manson, P. (2015). Ladder Injury Nets $11.1M in Federal Court.

Picard, C. (2016). Man Left Paralyzed After Routine Doctor’s Visit.

Woman Awarded $12.2 Million in Slip-and-Fall Case. (2007).

Young, J. M.D., and Sutton, L. (2011). Cup of Woe: Starbucks Ordered to Pay $7.5M.