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New Jersey BJ’s Slip and Fall Case Yields $1M Verdict

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. 

As with other tort and negligence cases, assessing the legal liability of the negligent party can be accomplished by evaluating four critical elements. These elements are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

  1. Duty is the term used to acknowledge one party’s legal or contractual obligation to another party. For example, BJ’ owes a duty of care to its patrons to provide safe shopping conditions. 
  2. The Breach of Duty occurs when one party breaches their duty of care to the other party. In this example, BJ’s breached its duty of care by not addressing a water spill.  
  3. The third element required is Causation. Essentially, the court must be able to reasonably infer that the negligent party’s breach of duty directly caused the injury of the other party. For example, Gaguancela’s attorneys must prove that BJ’s negligence directly lead to the plaintiff’s injuries. 
  4. The fourth element is to prove Damages as the result of the negligence.

If you have been injured as the result of the fault of another, you need the experience of our Bergen County personal injury attorneys to properly identify the causes of action and the responsible parties. Even if you have a complex matter, our personal injury attorneys have the experience to represent you throughout New Jersey and are ready to fight for you in connection with wrongful death and severe injury cases. Our key areas of expertise include car accidents, dog bites, nursing home abuse, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, medical malpractice, and birth injuries. 

At Aretsky Law Group, P.C. our attorneys will upon being retained by you, immediately begin to investigate your case and gather evidence to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. Often we will employ private investigators to assist us in this investigation. Deploying these assets early on assists us to produce the strongest case on your behalf. We aim to outwork the other side and to be as prepared as possible to fight for you.

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