Man awarded $7.5 million for watermelon accident at Walmart

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59-year-old US army veteran, who broke his hip while buying watermelon at a Walmart in Alabama, US in 2015, was awarded $7.5 million after a jury ruled in favour of him, reports The Washington Post (WP).

Court records state Walker was visiting the Phenix City Walmart, located at 3700 Highway 280, in June 2015. He told the jury that he slipped while reaching for it, and got his foot caught in a wood pallet Walmart left negligently protruding.

Unless the verdict is overturned on appeal, an Alabama jury just made a multi-millionaire out of a man who took a fall after getting a watermelon at a Phenix City Walmart.

According to al.com, Walker's attorney said that jurors reviewed surveillance footage showing that several other people had similarly got their feet stuck in the pallet, in the same way that Walker did when he fell and sustained the injuries.

Later, Water sued the retail giant on claims of "negligence and wantonness".

Walker was represented by attorneys O'Hara, Charles Gower, and David Rayfield; Walmart was represented by Paul Russell Jr. and Stanley Sasser.

Walmart maintained that the display was not unsafe, but Walker's lawyers say the store should have covered the pallet.

Shaun O'Hara, one of Walker's attorneys, said that Walker now has to use a walker.

'The jury of twelve members of this community certainly thought it was a fair verdict after hearing all of the evidence.

Hargrove, the Walmart spokesman, said he could not comment on the use of wooden pallets or the chain's safety procedures, saying the case is an "ongoing matter" since the company plans to appeal.

This past Wednesday, the jury awarded Walker $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

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