What You Need to Know

  • A jury awarded $5 million to a former accountant who claimed a fall at Walmart left him with long-term pain and cognitive issues
  • The plaintiff’s attorney said his strategy was based in keeping his case short and to the point.
  • Walmart denied that it was liable and indicated it may challenge the verdict.

A two-day trial in a slip-and-fall case against Walmart ended in a $5 million verdict for a former accountant who attributed the accident to his present-day inability to perform math.

On July 13, the Delaware County jury determined Walmart was fully responsible for plaintiff Adam McCall’s attorney said two days were all he needed to make his case.

“I try to be as punchy and as streamlined as possible,” Jason Javie of Levin & Javie said of his trail technique in which “less is more.” That can also mean the use of visuals to convey exactly what happened to the plaintiff. “You can lose the attention of your audience if you’re too long-winded and don’t get right to the point.”

Walmart earlier indicated it was not liable over factors in which it “exercised no control,” and said on Monday that the war is not over, as the multinational company may challenge the lawyer’s trial technique in a second battle before a jury.

“We work hard to provide customers with a safe and enjoyable shopping experience,” a spokesperson for Walmart said in an emailed statement. “We don’t believe the jury’s verdict is supported by the evidence and are considering our options, including filing post-trial motions.”

In McCall’s case, Javie said he learned on surveillance footage to contest the defendant’s points. He said Walmart did not dispute McCall’s injuries at trial. Instead, the defendants suggested McCall slipped on the spill because he was in a rush.

“Ultimately, none of that was really support by evidence,” Javie said. “It was, in fact, contradicted by the evidence.”

He said footage showed McCall was walking at a normal pace in the leadup to the incident, and that the spill had been left on the ground for approximately 20 minutes before the plaintiff encountered it.

McCall alleged Walmart knew about the spill but failed to take proper measures to warn customers. He claimed he suffered herniated discs and a concussion from the fall and was left with long-term pain. And as a result of the concussion, McCall claimed, he was unable to return to work as an accountant and took a substantial hit to his yearly income.

The jury awarded McCall $3 million for pain and suffering and $2 million for loss of enjoyment of life. The case, captioned McCall v. Wal-Mart Stores, was tried before Judge Spiros Angelos of the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.

Javie estimated that the jury returned its verdict after about an hour of deliberation.

He added: “The jury was able to see very, very quickly in the trial … this was horrible situation that caused horrible injuries, and the only right thing was for Walmart to be held responsible.”

This article was written by Aleeza Furman a Litigation Reporter.