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Woman sued store for leg injury caused by employee – $2.2 million verdict

Plaintiff, a 35-year-old female, suffered a catastrophic injury to her leg on Aug. 3, 2015, at defendant’s store when two slabs of granite fell on plaintiff ’s leg due to the store employee’s negli­gence. Plaintiff suffered compound fractures of the left tibia and fibula, and underwent emergency orthopedic surgery at Sentara Potomac Hospital, requiring the insertion of a metal rod and screws to repair the bone. After being released from the hospital, plaintiff underwent physical therapy for two and a half years, but she still experienced ongoing, daily pain. In 2017, plaintiff was diagnosed with extensive nerve damage re­sulting from the catastrophic injury. In October 2017, plaintiff underwent nerve decompression surgery at Fairfax INOVA hospital for partial repair of the nerve damage which resulted in minimal relief of the plaintiff ’s overall pain. Plaintiff will require future surger­ies and treatment to manage her pain. Prior to the injury, plaintiff worked full time in Washington, D.C., and enjoyed taking care of her two children, ages 1 and 3, at the time of the injury.

After a failed mediation, in which defendant offered only $50,000 to resolve plain­tiff’s claim, the case was tried to a jury from Nov. 18-21, 2019, in Prince William County Circuit Court on both general negligence and premises liability theories. The jury re­turned a verdict, after approximately four hours of deliberation, in the amount of $2.2 million. The insurance policy was limited to $1,000,000 in coverage. After the verdict counsel was able to negotiate an additional $150,000 payment over the policy limits to satisfy the verdict.

Type of action: Personal Injury

Injuries alleged: Compound tibia and fibula fracture to left leg resulting in severe pain. Damage to nerves resulting from the occurrence, with a permanent diagnosis of neuropathy.

Name of case: Vidya Desai v. GMC Granite and Home Improvement, LLC

Court: Prince William County Circuit Court

Case no.: CL17-5986

Tried before: Jury

Name of judge: Hon. Craig D. Johnston (Ret.)

Date resolved: Nov. 21, 2019

Special damages: Medicals-$165,870.19; Wage Loss-$47,127.77

Demand: $650,000

Offer: $150,000

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $2,200,000.00

Attorneys for plaintiff: Justin Daniel, Fairfax

Attorneys for defendant: Nicholas J. Lawrence, Fairfax

Plaintiff’s experts: Frederick M. Hueston at ORC International; Shahreyar S. Hash­emi, M.D. at Nerve, Bone & Joint Institute

Insurance carrier: Erie Insurance Exchange

[20-T-016]