October, 2023

In October 2023, Noel Halpin and Morgan Mottley obtained a unanimous defense verdict for a national retailer in a slip and fall that occurred in September 2019 in Lexington, resulting in a knee injury.  The Plaintiff alleged that there was a puddle of water on the floor that the retailer failed to clean-up and/or warn customers about.  The size and type of substance was disputed.  Halpin and Mottley proved that the retailer had rigorous systems in place to find and address any such hazards on the floor of its store, and that it had no notice of the presence of any substance on the floor of the store prior to the Plaintiff’s fall.  Notably, many other customers and several employees were seen on surveillance video in the minutes before the fall and not one of them noticed a substance on the floor, nor did anyone else have difficulty safely navigating that same area.  Halpin and Mottley also proved that the Plaintiff may have been distracted in the seconds before the fall and that may have contributed to the fall.  Plaintiff claimed that the fall resulted in the need for a total knee replacement six months after the fall, and she claimed permanent injury which necessitated ongoing physical therapy since the fall.  Halpin and Mottley proved that the Plaintiff did not appear injured following the fall and that after completing an incident report, she and her husband continued to shop without difficulty.  They also proved that the injury amounted to bruising and swelling that resolved in the weeks after the fall.  Halpin and Mottley also proved that the Plaintiff had a decades-long history of problems with that same knee, which included six prior surgeries.  The causal connection between the fall and the subsequent surgery was disputed.  Plaintiff sought $4.2 million in compensatory damages, and an additional $2 million in punitive damages.  The jury deliberated for an hour and returned with a unanimous defense verdict.

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