$7.5 million verdict for chiropractor’s slip and fall in Starbucks. San Diego County.
A Starbucks customer fell on a tile floor that the manager had just mopped. The customer hit his head on the floor and was knocked unconscious. The defense offered $100,000, but the jury decided the case was worth over $7 million.
- Case Name: Anthony Zaccaglin, et al v. Starbucks Coffee Company
- Court and Case Number: San Diego Superior/37-2009-00084460-CU-PO-NC
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, December 22, 2011
- Date Action was Filed: Monday, March 02, 2009
- Type of Action: Premises Liability, Slip and Fall
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Timothy M. Casserly
- Plaintiffs: Anthony Zaccaglin, age 48, chiropractor; Lisa Zaccaglin (wife)
- Defendants: Starbucks Coffee Company
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $7,456,231. (Includes $1 million to wife for loss of consortium.)
- Attorney for the Plaintiff: The Gomez Law Firm by John H. Gomez, James Iagmin and Jessica Sizemore, San Diego
- Attorney for the Defendant: Law Offices of Shayne Figgins by Shayne Figgins, Universal City
- Plaintiff’s Medical Experts: Monte Buchsbaum, M.D., PET scans, San DiegoDoreen Casuto, R.N., life care planning, San DiegoRobert B. Hall, Ph.D., M.A., B.A., vocational rehabilitation, San DiegoMichael Lobatz, M.D., neurology, OceansideMartin Magy, Ph.D., neuropsychology, VistaElise Reed, D.O., Vista
- Defendant's Medical Experts: David D. Fox, Ph.D., clinical psychology and neuropsychology, GlendaleJohn Hochman, M.D., psychiatry, Los AngelesKenneth Nudleman, M.D., neurology, Santa AnaAmy M. Sutton, BSN, MA, Ph.D., CLCP, CRRN, life care planning, Long BeachAlan D. Waxman, M.D., PET scans, Los Angeles
- Plaintiff's Technical Experts: Alex Balian, MBA, retail store custom and practice, West HillsTed Kobayashi. P.E., accident reconstruction, LivermoreHeather Xitco, MBA, CPA, economics, San Diego
- Defendant's Technical Experts: Steven Molina, Ph.D., vocational rehabilitation, San ClementeKenneth A. Solomon, Ph.D., P.E., accident reconstruction, biomechanics, Woodland HillsPaul Zimmer, forensic document examination, San Diego
Facts and Background
- Facts and Background:
On March 20, 2008, the manager of a Starbucks in Vista mopped a spill on the floor. She set a cone 4-6 feet away from the mopped area. Plaintiff stepped into the area, slipped and hit his head on the tile floor. He was unconscious for up to 30 seconds.
- Plaintiff's Contentions:
Defendant did not mop all liquid standing on floor and did not clearly mark the area or attempt to keep customers away from the spill.
- Defendant's Contentions:
Floor was not wet or slippery. That plaintiff did not suffer permanent injuries.
Injuries and Other Damages
- Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Ongoing symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury including defective memory, lapses in concentration and judgment, emotional lability, sensitivity to light and sound, and fatigue.
Loss of Consortium.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $216,759
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $683,717
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $215,199
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $1,123,677
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1.8 million
- Defendant §998 Offer: $100,000