Though most New Jersey residents probably would not consider slip and fall accidents to be serious in nature, a recent jury hearing a slip and fall case returned a verdict of $2.3 million. The plaintiff, while shopping at a Kroger grocery store, slipped on a piece of crushed fruit next to the deli and then fell upon his back.

The plaintiff suffered a spinal cord injury which resulted in multiple surgeries and the placement of hardware in an attempt to stabilize the spine. The plaintiff's medical bills were in the area of $135,000 and, as a landscaper, he has not been able to return to his job.

The grocery store chain likely did not appreciate the severity of the case against them until possible video footage of the accident surfaced. However, rather than produce the video footage, it was apparent that the grocery chain deliberately erased the video making it impossible for the footage to be viewed by the jury and the court. The grocery chain was then sanctioned for the destruction of the evidence, and the judge in the case made a determination that the chain was negligent in its maintenance of the premises with such negligence leading up to the slip and fall.

Again, such slip and fall accidents can be extremely serious in nature and often result in head, neck and back injuries that are often quite debilitating. For individuals that work with their hands, injuries suffered in such accidents can be career-ending.

As the above accident indicates, defendants in such suit will sometimes engage in behavior in an attempt to evade liability. However, lawyers experienced in litigating slip and fall cases can take actions to ensure that such attempts to escape liability will not prevail.

Source: AJC.com, "Gwinnett jury returns $2.3 million verdict in slip-and-fall lawsuit against Kroger," by Andria Simmons, Jan. 26, 2012