As a result of her fall, Ms. Whiteaker suffered life altering injuries to her left arm and her right wrist. In addition, the fall broke several of her teeth.
Fred’s Stores of Tennessee, Inc. refused to accept responsibility for the incident, claiming all along that the barricade was “open and obvious” and very safe. The trial of this case started on November 15, 2010 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi–Oxford, MS. Plaintiff’s expert, E.J. Lacoste of Jackson, MS testified at trial that the “barricade” was unreasonably dangerous, in part because it obstructed a public pathway in violation of the International Building Code. After approximately 3 ½ hours, a jury of 4 men and 4 women returned a unanimous verdict for the Plaintiff awarding her $1.15M in damages.
According to the Whiteakers’ attorney, Philip A. Stroud of Southaven, MS, “This jury clearly understood that this was not another “hot coffee” case–but one with significant– life altering injuries. The case went to trial because Fred’s refused to accept responsibility for its actions. I am proud to announce that four years later, a jury of 4 men and 4 women, spoke loud and clear for this well deserving woman and her family“.
Also representing the Whiteakers was James B. Lees, Jr. of Charleston, WV. Fred’s Stores of Tennessee, Inc. was represented by Olive Branch attorneys, Scott Hollis and Robert Jolly of the Watkins, Ludlam & Stennis law firm.