Slip and Fall Lawsuit Nets $8M for Burger King Customer
A Florida Burger King customer recently won $8 million in a slip-and-fall lawsuit filed against the fast food giant’s franchisee. The 48-year-old customer fell on a “wet foreign substance” while using the bathroom at a Hollywood, Florida location. The ensuing accident left him “seriously injured”, according to the lawsuit. The incident took place in 2019, leaving the plaintiff with severe spinal injuries that required surgery. In this case, the surgical procedure that the plaintiff had to repair his back left him with a postoperative perforated colon which caused further injury to the plaintiff. The injuries left the plaintiff unable to work which his lawyers contended was a “major part of his identity” which resulted in financial and emotional strain.
A Florida jury found that the franchise 100% liable for the plaintiff’s injuries and responsible for the fall. Burger King announced plans to appeal the verdict after it argued that its employees never had a chance to mop up the slippery substance on the floor and didn’t even know it was there.
Elements of negligence in a slip and fall lawsuit
This verdict looks like it might be looked at on appeal if the Burger King franchisee elects to appeal the verdict. Burger King’s argument throughout the lawsuit was that they didn’t know about the dangerous condition and did not have an opportunity to fix it before the defendant fell. In most cases, a plaintiff would need to establish that the defendant proprietor either knew about the dangerous condition or should have known about the dangerous condition had he exercised a reasonable amount of care. In other words, you have to be able to prove foreknowledge in a slip-and-fall lawsuit to establish that negligence occurred. Alternatively, you can prove that inattentive staff allowed a dangerous condition to remain a threat to customers in an area that was likely to become dangerous. So, for example, the area around soda dispensers tends to create a slip hazard so it should be checked relatively frequently to ensure that customers are safe.
Burger King had argued that the plaintiff provided “virtually no evidence” that restaurant staff were made aware of the slip hazard prior to the accident.
In addition to that, the patient suffered injury during a surgery that was performed to repair his back. The plaintiff could have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon who perforated his colon, but elected not to. The extent of his injuries was driven up significantly by the injury that he suffered during surgery. One would expect that Burger King is not responsible for a surgical error, but the slip and fall was the proximate cause of what turned out to be a debilitating injury.
Talk to a Tampa, FL Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Today
The Tampa, FL slip and fall accident attorneys at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC represent the interests of plaintiffs who have sustained injury in slip and fall accidents. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your case right away.