The plaintiff, a 4-year-old boy, was visiting the defendant’s retail store in Quincy along with his mother.
While walking with his mother through the store, the minor plaintiff rounded a corner where a low-level counter was positioned. The minor’s face rubbed against the edge of the counter, which he did not realize was a broken glass shelf. As a result, the minor plaintiff suffered a laceration on his cheek. The minor plaintiff received immediate medical attention following the accident, where he was told that he would need sutures to close the wound. The treatment was successful, however the minor plaintiff was left with a permanent hairline scar as a result of the laceration.
The plaintiff filed a claim against the defendant’s retail store to recover compensation for his injuries. In the claim, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant was negligent because it failed to maintain its premises in reasonably safe condition for its customers. The defendant did not accept fault for the accident and contended that the plaintiff did not have sufficient evidence to prove how long the glass shelf had been broken prior to the incident. The plaintiff was prepared to offer evidence that the glass shelf had been broken for some time prior to the incident. Due to the length of time the glass shelf was broken, the plaintiff argued that the property owner should have been aware of the hazardous condition and repaired it before it led to injuries. A store employee had testified to the fact that the glass shelf had been broken for a significant period of time before the plaintiff was injured.
The plaintiff’s counsel consulted with a local plastic surgeon to discuss the issue of the scar on the minor plaintiff’s face. The surgeon was able to provide an estimated cost for the procedures needed to treat the scar. Although the remaining scar had lightened considerably since the time of the incident, it was still visible. In fact, the minor plaintiff was insecure about his scar, and continued to question his mother about its existence and what could be done to get rid of it.
Following settlement discussions between the plaintiff’s counsel and the defendant’s insurer, the claim was settled outside of the courtroom. The plaintiff was awarded $37,500 in addition to a structure providing $160,000.
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