Earlier this month, an Ohio woman recovered over $1.3 million after a jury found in her favor in a premises liability lawsuit filed against a supermarket chain. The lawsuit alleged that the supermarket chain failed to provide adequate instruction to customers using motorized shopping carts.
According to one industry news source reporting on the case, the accident occurred back in 2012, when another customer lost control of a motorized grocery cart and struck the plaintiff. After being struck by the cart, the plaintiff was tossed four feet and struck her head on the side of a nearby shelf. As a result, the 71-year-old plaintiff suffered serious head and neck injuries, requiring ongoing treatment.
While no supermarket employees were involved in the accident, the plaintiff proceeded under the theory that the grocery store was negligent in failing to provide adequate instructions for customers using the motorized carts. To help her case, the plaintiff submitted evidence of 119 similar accidents involving motorized grocery carts in the same supermarket chain over a nine-year period. With this evidence, the plaintiff was able to argue that the grocery store chain was aware of the dangers involved in letting customers use the motorized carts without instructions. The jury’s verdict consisted of $125,000 in compensatory damages and $1.2 million in punitive damages.