Varunes & Associates Phone Number: 860-541-1675
Fax Number: 860-541-1679
webmail@varuneslaw.com
Trials
Amy Ng v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.: Jury Verdict Returned 07-05-2006
     Plaintiff, age 25, alleged negligence against the large retailer as a result of injuries suffered while waiting to cash out at the cash register. Plaintiff claimed that while waiting in line to check out, a large box containing a desk chair fell from the conveyor belt, and struck Plaintiff's hands and wrists. Plaintiff claimed an injury to the left wrist, and after several months of conservative treatment, underwent surgery to the left wrist resulting in a 14% PPD to the left upper extremity. Plaintiff claimed medical specials totalling $17,225.63 and lost wages of $5,980.60 as well as an impairment of earning capacity. Defendant pleaded comparative negligence and argued that Plaintiff's treatment was unrelated to the Wal-Mart accident. After approximately 4 hours of deliberation, the jury found for the Plaintiff and awarded her $2,335.13 in economic damages and $0.00 in non-economic damages. The court did not set aside the verdict nor did it grant an additur.


Rita Peatie v. Wal-Mart Store, Inc.: Jury Verdict Returned 12-07-2006
     Plaintiff, age 60, while standing in the customer service line, was struck in the head, neck and shoulder by a ceiling tile and metal cylinder attached to a vaulted ceiling. Plaintiff alleged negligence against the large retailer claiming that it failed to properly secure the ceiling tile, failed to inspect the ceiling and warn its customers of the ceiling tile which was not secured properly. Plaintiff underwent three surgical procedures to the shoulders and claimed medical specials totalling $32,200.86, a 24% PPD of the left shoulder, and a 13% PPD of the right shoulder. Plaintiff reduced her demand from $300,000.00 to $100,000.00 before trial. The jury, after 2+ hours of deliberation, returned a verdict for the defendant. The case is on appeal currently.


Geraldine Barnes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.: Jury Verdict Returned 01-18-2007
     The Plaintiff, age 69, tripped and fell on the metal plate at the entrance of a cart corral in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart while entering the cart corral to retrieve a shopping cart. The Plaintiff brought an action against Wal-Mart, in negligence, as a result of tripping and falling over the metal plate that keeps the shopping carts from rolling out of the cart corral. The Plaintiff claimed that Wal-Mart was negligent in that the raised metal plate was allowed to remain at the entrance to the cart containment area in a defective condition, failed to take steps to remove the plate, and failed to warn the Plaintiff of the dangerous condition. The Plaintiff introduced evidence that as a result of the fall onto the pavement, she suffered a torn medial meniscus of the left knee, chondromalacia of the left patellofemoral joint and osteoarthritis of the left knee. Plaintiff introduced evidence of an additional surjery to the left knee as well as an arthroscopic decompression of the right shoulder girdle with mini open repair of the right rotator cuff. Plaintiff introduced medical specials of $57,490.47 and was awarded a 10% PPD of the left knee and a 12% PPD of the right shoulder, by treating orthopedic surgeons Dr. Stevens and Dr. Joyce.

The defendant presented evidence that the metal bar at the entrance of the cart corral was not defective. Further, defense medical expert, orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Peter Barnett, testified that Plaintiff's left knee injury was partially due to an underlying degenerative condition in the knee and in part due to the fall at Wal-Mart. Dr. Barnett testified further that the right shoulder injury and subsequent surgery were not related to the fall at Wal-Mart. The Plaintiff demanded $150,000.00 to settle. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant.


John Muller v. Michael G. Economos & Meco Leasing, Inc.: Jury Verdict Returned 05-24-2007
     Plaintiff brought an action in negligence against the defendants, Economos, the driver of a Ford Explorer, and Meco Leasing, Inc. the owner of the vehicle, as a result of injuries he suffered in a head on collision. Plaintiff alleged that on May 8, 2002, he was operating his Porsche convertible northbound on North Main Street in West Hartford, CT when defendant caused his vehicle to collide head on into the Plaintiff's vehicle resulting in $21,825.01 in property damage to the Plaintiff's vehicle. Plaintiff, age 62, claimed an acute cervical spine injury: C7 and C8 spondylotic radiculopathy, cervical nerve root contusion, numbness and tingling in the left arm and fourth and fifth fingers on his left hand, and marked weakness. Plaintiff ultimately underwent a cervical disk replacement surgery in Austria which surgery was causally connected to the injuries suffered in the head on collision by Dr. James Yue of Yale University. Plaintiff claimed $35,401.73 in medical specials. He was rated as having suffered an 18% PPD of the cervical spine after the surgery.

     The defendants admitted that there was a collision: however, the defendant driver, Economos, testified that he blacked out prior to the collision and the next thing he knew, his car was on the curb. Defendants requested a charge of unavoidable accident which the trial court denied giving at first, but ultimately gave as a supplemental charge, after the jury came back seeking direction.

     The plaintiff filed an Offer of Judgment for $750,000.00. Plaintiff agreed to accept $185,000.00 prior to evidence. The jury found for the Plaintiff awarding $3,483.72.


Kayja La Fountain PPA Kicha Foster v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.: Jury Verdict Returned 05-13-2008
     Plaintiff, age 12 at the time of the accident, brought an action, through her mother, Kicha Foster, against Wal-Mart claiming injuries to her left lower extremity as a result of a slip and fall accident which occured on June 22, 2004. The minor Plaintiff alleged that Wal-Mart was negligent in that it allowed the main aisle floor to be in a dangerous and defective condition by allowing a large spill to remain in the main aisle, by failing to inspect the premises, and by failing to warn patrons of the danger.

     As a result of slipping and falling in a tumbling fashion, the minor Plaintiff sustained an ankle/foot sprain. She treated at the E.R. on the night of the accident and with an orthopedic surgeon who prescribed a Swede-O brace, the use of crutches, and physical therapy. Plaintiff was awarded a 3% permanent impairment of the left foot and ankle by treating orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Fischer in August 2005, approximately 14 months after the accident. In September, 2005, as a result of ongoing complaints, the minor Plaintiff was referred to Dr. Raymond Sullivan, an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist. Dr. Sullivan ordered a CT Scan of the left ankle and found a congenital defect known as a subtalar tarsal coalition which was extremely painful, resulting in the minor Plaintiff undergoing surgery to correct the partial fibrous coalition. As a result of the surgery, Plaintiff began suffering from burning pain in her foot and ankle and was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Distrophy (RSD). The minor Plaintiff began treatment with a pain management specialist, Dr. William Zempsky, who testified that the minor Plaintiff would suffer from RSD for the rest of her life. Plaintiff was awarded a 29% PPD of the left lower extremity by Dr. Sullivan who causally connected the aggravation of the subtalar tarsal coalition, resulting surgery, and RSD to the Wal-Mart accident. The minor Plaintiff introduced past medical specials of $35,795.43 and future medical of approximately $365,000.00, comprised of future treatment for RSD by way of prescriptions for Lyrica, 4 physician visits per year, 20 physical therapy visits per year, and 12 psychological visits per year.

     The defendant, Wal-Mart, produced a former employee who testified that although she did not have a present recollection of the accident, she recalled the minor Plaintiff falling and she thought she was guarding the spill and, she believed she warned the Plaintiff. Further, Dr. Michael Aronow, an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist, testified on behalf of the defendant that the minor Plaintiff suffered an ankle sprain as a result of falling at Wal-Mart: however, the fall at Wal-Mart did not aggravate the subtalar tarsal coalition, instead the subtalar tarsal coalition was a congenital abnormality that was present prior to Plaintiff's fall at Wal-Mart. Plaintiff filed an Offer of Compromise for $900,000.00. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant.