In the recent Middlesex County NJ case Gaguancela v. BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc, Norma Gaguancela was awarded a net verdict of $850,000 after falling and slipping at a BJ’s store location in East Rutherford, NJ. The floor at this particular location became slippery after a broken pipe led to water accumulation. According to reports, Gaguancela slipped and fell in the frozen food section on June 27, 2016. Gaguancela’s knee injuries include damage to both the meniscus and cartilage, and tears in her hip and shoulder. Medical expenses such as knee and ankle surgery were accrued in order to help Gaguancela recover.
According to court records, Gaguancela, who is 64, stopped working as a bus driver due to impediments sustained from these injures. As such, the total suit claims $230,000 in medical bills and $122,000 in wage loss.
In response, BJ’s claimed that Gaguancela’s pre-existing medical conditions are also causative factors that lead to her injuries. Accordingly, the Court allocated 15% of the blame to Gaguancela, reducing the total sum awarded from $1,000,000 to $850,000.