CVS refused to accept responsibility for disabling injuries caused by its employees’ negligence, and claimed no video surveillance
You don’t expect to go to the corner drug store for a quick errand and come home a different person. But when a careless Livonia CVS employee caused metal lawn chairs to fall onto a 58-year-old Oak Park grandmother’s head, she sustained a serious traumatic brain injury.
I’m proud to write that on Sept. 3, our trial attorneys held CVS accountable for hurting our client. Bobby Raitt and Alison Duffy secured a $4.616 million jury verdict (plus impending trial sanctions) in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Bobby and Alison were able to prove that the August 2012 incident could easily have been avoided if only CVS had followed its own safety procedures. Instead, CVS put the heavy metal objects on a six-foot high shelf, endangering its own customers. As to the safety hazard this presented by recklessly endangering any passing customer who happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time, CVS offered no defense.
But when customers walk into a retail store, they should not have to worry about merchandise falling on their heads.
CVS employees are required to use safety clips to adhere the chairs to bins. But the CVS employee responsible for the incident testified she didn’t know if the safety clips were ever used on the bins involved in the incident.
The incident occurred when our client asked the CVS assistant manager to price a chair she could not reach. As the employee reached above, our client leaned over to look at chairs on a lower shelf. Then, a few of the chairs (along with the metal bins containing the chairs) tumbled down — with one of the chairs hitting her on the head and hand.
CVS refused to take responsibility.
CVS refused to be held accountable for the dramatic decline in our client’s quality of life. The drug store chain denied any fault in court proceedings and throughout litigation. To start, CVS claimed the chairs didn’t fall on her head, rather they leaned on her head. CVS defense attorneys hired medical experts who never saw our client, yet managed to claim she wasn’t seriously injured. And to boot, CVS claimed there was absolutely no security footage of the incident, despite the presence of six surveillance cameras throughout the store.
Our client can never work again as a senior billing analyst at DTE because of her serious cognitive limitations and disabling headaches. And even worse, she no longer is able to participate with her five children and six grandchildren in the same way she did prior to the accident, something that brought her immense joy.
One of the points Bobby and Alison made in trial was that if our client would have stolen a pack of gum, CVS would likely have produced the surveillance footage.
The jury didn’t buy it either, and awarded our client $4.616 million.
Following a $200,000 case evaluation, CVS only offered $300,000 to settle the case. CVS made no further settlement offers throughout the trial.