Corboy & Demetrio Secures $600,000 Settlement for Shopper Fall in Appliance Store

/ Patrick Murphy, a lawyer at the Illinois law firm of Corboy & Demetrio, has secured a settlement of more than a half million dollars on behalf of a Chicago woman who slipped and fell while shopping at ABT Electronics in Glenview.

Corboy & Demetrio Partner Francis Patrick Murphy has secured a $600,000 settlement from the appliance store ABT Electronics, Inc. on behalf of Janet Robertson for an ankle injury she suffered in 2002. The settlement was approved on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 by Judge Deborah Mary Dooling. Trial was scheduled to start a day earlier.

On October 5, 2002, Janet Robertson, 58, Chicago, Illinois, went to the new ABT store in Glenview. She was directed by a sales associate to the back of the globe display area to view stackable washers and dryers. The area was raised about a foot above the main floor with an intermediate step around the display area, except for four feet near the appliances. Robertson went to step down to look at other units without looking, assuming the step extended around the entire area. She fell spraining her right ankle.

“It was more than a sprain,” said Francis Patrick Murphy, a partner at Corboy & Demetrio. “It was a ligament tear along the outside of her ankle. This caused the ankle to buckle on a number of occasions and caused her to fall and suffer more injuries. Jan eventually had three ankle surgeries,” Murphy said.

“While the original design may have been acceptable for the singular purpose as the display for the 5,000 pound steel globe, when ABT added a second purpose of displaying appliances where the step gap was located, it became dangerous to shoppers,” Murphy added. “The evidence at trial would have shown that ABT knew this danger and used a potted plant as a barrier before erecting permanent guards to prevent further falls,” he said.

“Product display is a science,” Murphy commented “and customer safety should never be compromised in that science. Unfortunately, because safety was neglected, Jan has suffered a life-long bad ankle.”

Case information: Janet Robertson v. ABT Electronics Inc., Cook County; #2008 L 4490.

About Corboy & Demetrio

Corboy & Demetrio is one of the nation’s premier law firms. It represents individuals and their families in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases and is renowned for its achievements in the courtroom and for its contributions to the community. The rights and concerns of its clients are at the core of Corboy & Demetrio’s practice. That commitment, dedication, compassion and relentless drive has resulted in exceptional service and exceptional results for its clients. The firm has acquired more than $3 billion in settlements and verdicts and has attained almost 600 settlements and verdicts in excess of $1 million. To speak with Patrick Murphy or any other attorney at Corboy & Demetrio, call 312.346.3191 or toll free at 888.364.3191.

Media Contact:
Helen Lucaitis
Corboy & Demetrio

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