Posted: September 26th, 2013
A woman who developed a neurological illness after an accident on a supermarket escalator has been awarded $9.9 million compensation by a jury in New York.
Rose Nudelman (51) had just completed her shopping in her local Costco Supermarket in New York, when she and her husband took their loaded supermarket shopping trolley onto the ascending escalator between floors.
The tread on the escalator had been made to secure the wheels of the shopping trolley, so that customers did not have to retain hold of their trolleys in order to prevent them rolling back down the slope. However, while Rose and her husband were ascending the escalator, the trolley wheels slipped from their mountings and the trolley rolled down the escalator, catching Rose on the wrist.
Although it did not appear at the time that she had sustained any significant injury, Rose and her husband reported the incident to the management of the supermarket. However, within two weeks of the incident happening, Rose began to experience issues with walking which deteriorated quickly so that she was only capable of hobbling around her home with the aid of a walking stick.
Rose went to see her doctor who, after an extensive series of examinations, diagnosed her with the neurological illness “Complex Regional Pain Syndrome” – saying that its cause was nerve damage due to being hit by the shopping trolley on the escalator.
As her condition deteriorated further, Rose sought legal advice from a solicitor, and made a claim for compensation for her accident on an escalator against Costco. Costco Supermarket rejected the claim that Rose´s injury was attributable to her escalator accident and alleged that she had exaggerated the level of her injury to justify her compensation claim. Rose´s solicitor however believed that his client had a strong case, and issued court proceedings.
Costco Supermarket continued to deny their liability and refused to settle the claim for compensation for an accident on an escalator out of court. However, when the case went to trial, the jury found in Rose´s favour and awarded her $9.9 million in compensation for an accident on an escalator.
The company who insure Costco Supermarket have indicated that they will appeal both the verdict and the size of the award, but Rose´s solicitor commented after hearing about the possible appeal that no amount of compensation would convince anybody he knew to trade places with his client.