Tom Papakalodoukas of Port St. Lucie, Fla., has won almost $1.3 million from Walmart after slipping on a sign that fell from a Gatorade display in 2011, WPBF reports. Papakalodoukas tore his right bicep tendon in the fall, resulting in a life-long condition known as “popeye deformity” that causes the tendon in his arm to bulge.
Jurors have been especially sympathetic to the beverage distributor, who was awarded twice what his attorney requested. Papakalodoukas is facing lost wages from the injury, as well as over $200,000 in medical bills.
Gloria Seidule, Papakalodoukas’ attorney, said the case is a victory for the underdog “against a large corporation like Walmart,” TCPalm reports. Gatorade was not liable for the fall since the court found Walmart was negligent in setting up the display.
This is one of the more costly cases in a long line of slip-and-fall lawsuits against Walmart. Within the last year, both an Oklahoma man and a Texas woman sued Walmart when they slipped on wet floors in separate incidents. In 2011, Wyoming truck driver Holly Averyt was awarded $10 million after she underwent three spine surgeries to repair injuries suffered from slipping on ice and grease during a delivery at a Colorado Walmart.
Perhaps even more gruesome than Averyt and Papakalodoukas's injuries, however, is the story of Kathleen Werst of Acton, Mass. Her finger was stripped of both skin and muscle in an injury known as “degloving” when she fell with her ring got caught in Walmart shelves, The Telegraph reports.