Staples has been ordered to pay a man injured in its Hamilton store $3,648,030 after he tripped over merchandise left on the ground by an employee and suffered a herniated disc, pain and numbness, as a result.
Jim Simmons was 55 at the time of injury on May 30, 2015. Despite multiple surgeries, his back pain remains unresolved.
Stark & Stark Shareholder David Schmid represented Simmons in Mercer County.
Staples contested liability and blamed Simmons for tripping over the tote, according to Schmid, also arguing that his injuries were age-appropriate “degenerative” changes in his lumbar spine.
“However, through the cross examination of Staples’ own medical expert, the jury was able to see through this ‘degenerative’ defense,” said Schmid in a statement. “In addition, through the testimony of Staples’ own employees and corporate directors, we were able to demonstrate to the jury that customer safety was not a priority at the Hamilton Staples store. The store violated its own safety policies, leading to serious, lifelong injuries to a customer, and its response was to blame Mr. Simmons and deny his claims.”
Simmons underwent physical therapy and lumbar epidural steroid injections after the fall, and two lumbar surgeries that have reportedly failed to resolve his symptoms. According to a release from Stark & Stark, he will face additional surgeries in the coming months.
“[The jury’s] verdict is proof that large corporations will be held accountable when they negligently injure people. No matter how much money, power or resources Staples had, it could not run from its responsibility forever,” Schmidt said in a statement.
Staples did not immediately return request for comment.