Jury Trial-Introduction

Some of you may know that I tried a case to a jury in June. Several people suggested that I should write about the trial from an 'insider's' point of view.

I have obtained permission from my client to do so. Thus, I hope to do a sort of day-by-day review of the trial. In this post, I will describe what the case was about.

Our client was a school teacher, who made cakes during the summer for extra income. One day during the summer, she went into the Westside Albertson's store to buy some supplies. As she was leaving the store, she saw an elderly gentleman exiting the store in front of her.

He passed through the automatic doors in front of her. She paused to let him pass, and the doors closed on her. As the door closed, she turned to her left to avoid the door. It closed on her chest on the front, and between her spine and shoulder blade on the back. Then the door popped off of the track and with that motion flung her forward into the little anteroom between the exterior and interior set of doors.

She initially thought she was fine, but shortly after she got home the shoulder started to hurt. She returned to the store and completed an accident report. On the report, the store agreed with her version of events.

Ultimately the store denied liability for her injuries, which proved to be substantial. (She had several surgeries.) As we investigated the case, we learned that these automatic doors are not as foolproof as one might think.

In fact, a store owner should do a "daily safety check" on the doors to ensure their safety. This involves walking through the door from several angles and, most importantly, stopping in the threshold of the door (more later). We learned that Albertson's management at the time did not do daily safety checks, and didn't even know such a thing existed. This is despite the fact that the doors have a bright, yellow sticker on them stating that daily safety checks must be done.

And with that, we're off to the races...


ZenPanda said...

wow, I am interested to read more about this. (I hate those doors.)

a-fire-fly said...

I have noticed there are several automatic doors around town that do not sense my 3 year old, and start to shut to soon. Scary.

david said...

I'll be much more careful when passing through such doors now!