Jury finds Florida woman at fault in Target slip-and-fall lawsuit

A Miami, Florida, woman was assigned 90 percent of the blame in a slip-and-fall lawsuit filed against Target Corp. in January 2014.

Elvia Hernandez claimed she fell at a Target store in Miami after slipping on a “liquid or other similar foreign substance on the floor of the main aisle,” according to court documents. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

In its July 20 verdict, a Florida jury found Target’s negligence to be a 10 percent factor in the 2012 accident. Hernandez had incurred a total of $120,000 in damages for past medical expenses, pain and suffering. However, Target was required to pay her only $12,000, which is significantly less than the retailer’s earlier settlement proposal of $100,000.

Target argued that it did not cause the spill or know about it until Hernandez’s accident. The retailer claimed that she had failed to prove liability on Target’s part. In its filing, Target said, “The plaintiff did not know who caused the spill, how the spill occurred, where it came from, when it occurred, and she had no reason to believe someone from Target caused the spill.” It also said there was no evidence that the spill was present long enough for an employee to have found it.

Florida’s pure comparative negligence law stipulates that the damages a plaintiff receives are reduced by the percentage that they are determined to be careless or at fault for their own injury.

It is important to note that determining fault in slip-and-fall cases can be more complicated than it might seem. If you were injured and you believe someone else is fully or partially to blame, contact Chalik & Chalik to learn more about your rights.