Torn Rotator Cuff Results in Record Verdict to Senior Citizen

Geneva Lewis, age 72, slipped and fell on water on the floor at Pierre’s Bakery in Blue Island, Ill. It was Feb. 25, 2009 and  Lewis, a retiree, fell suffering a torn rotator cuff of her right shoulder.It required surgery to repair. A very painful recovery process followed.

The defendant, Pierre’s Bakery, contended that the floor where Lewis fell was dry and that the “wet floor” warning signs were in place, including a sign within 5 feet of where she fell. Pierre’s also claimed that Lewis was at fault for choosing not to keep a proper lookout and that her injuries were due to her age-related degenerative arthritis.

Pierre’s introduced photographs of the scene of the fall, which showed a dry floor with warning signs. 

Pierre’s reported that it proposed a high/slow agreement whereby the low of $25,000 with a high of $125,000 would be the limits of any jury verdict. This proposal was made during the jury’s deliberations, but not accepted.

The jury made an error in calculating the net verdict after considering the contributory fault of  Lewis.

The verdict of $660,000 was based on the following damages after reducing the verdict by 20% attributable to the fault of Lewis:

  • $68,800 for medical expenses;
  • $403,200 for past and future pain and suffering;
  • $96,000 for loss of normal life; and
  • $28,800 for disfigurement.

The verdict is the highest in the Jury Verdict Reporter records for a rotator cuff injury to a person over the age of 65 in Illinois.  The attorney for Geneva Lewis was Anthony Elman. The demand to settle the case before trial was $250,000. The jury was asked to return a verdict at $1,500,000. However, the defendant Pierre’s offered nothing to attempt to settle the case. 

Geneva Lewis v. Pierre’s Bakery, Inc., 10 L 14135 (Cook County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been  handling injury cases, automobile accidents, truck accidents and nursing home abuse cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Arlington Heights, Lansing, Chicago (Englewood), Naperville, Northlake, Northfield, Chicago (Humboldt Park), Homewood, Orland Park and Chicago (Ravenswood), Ill.

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