A Jefferson County jury recently delivered a $251,894.58 verdict against J.C.
Penney and Parkdale Mall following the civil trial of a trip and fall lawsuit.
Smith filed suit against J.C. Penney and Parkdale Mall on April 15, 2014 in
Jefferson County District Court.
claims she sustained injuries after tripping and falling on a defective storm
drain on a sidewalk outside of the J.C. Penney department store, at Parkdale
Mall in Beaumont, on Jan. 19, 2013.
trial was held earlier this month, with jurors finding both J.C. Penney and
Parkdale Mall negligent, assigning each defendant 50 percent of the blame,
according to the charge of the court, filed Sept. 6.
awarded Smith $108,000 for her past and future mental anguish, $80,000 for her
past and future impairment and $63,894.58 for her past and future medical
years prior to the trial, court records show J.C. Penney filed a motion for
summary judgment on Nov. 24, 2014, asserting Smith could not prove the company
had any actual knowledge of the dangerous condition.
further argued Smith did not produce any evidence to sustain her burden and
asked the court to dismiss her claims against it with prejudice.
On July 15,
2015 Judge Kent Walston, 58th District Court, denied the motion, court records
suit alleges the dangerous storm drain was raised up with gaps large enough to
rip the plaintiff’s shoe, causing the fall that caused Smith serious injures to
her knee and mouth.
petition, Smith said she was seeking $1 million in damages, interest and court
attorneys Robert L. Florance IV and Nathan M. Brandimarte of Orgain Bell and
Tucker LLP are representing her in the case.
is represented by Michael McGown, attorney for the Beaumont law firm
Benckenstein, Norvell, and Nathan.
County District Court Case No. A195-611