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Jury awards millions in Starbucks slip-and-fall suit

Last month, a jury ordered coffee giant Starbucks to pay several million dollars to a man who suffered lasting brain injuries as a result of a fall on a Starbucks retail store's wet floor in 2008. Starbucks did not dispute the man's slip-and-fall injury or the fact that the company was responsible for it.

According to court documents, the incident happened in a Starbucks store in March 2008. The man ordered a beverage at the cash register and headed to the other end of the counter to pick up his drink. As he walked over, he slipped on the floor, which had just been mopped by a store employee. The man fell to the ground, striking his head on the store's tile floor.

The manager of the Starbucks store stated that she had put out three "wet floor" signs to alert customers of the increased risk. However, other witnesses said that there had only been one such sign out that afternoon.

When the man was still suffering from head pain the following day, he went to a doctor, where he learned that he had suffered a concussion in the fall. Later, the man was diagnosed with mild brain trauma, and underwent more than a year of brain injury therapy. He has still not been able to return to his job as a chiropractor, and it is unknown when, if ever, he will be able to do so.

The man filed a personal injury lawsuit against the company, and a jury recently awarded him more than $7 million in damages for loss of income and medical expenses, among others. It remains to be seen whether Starbucks will challenge the verdict.

If you or a family member has been injured in a premises liability accident caused by a business' negligence, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune, "Man wins $7.5 million suit against Starbucks," Kristina Davis and Mike Freeman, Dec. 23, 2011

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