If you had a job that required you to be on your feet all day and you concluded that all that standing was making your feet hurt, what would you do?
There are dozens of options to choose from. You could buy shoes like nurses and waitresses wear, or some kind of orthopedic inserts to put in your shoes. You could ask your employer to provide an anti-fatigue mat for you to stand on or a stool to sit on, or bring in one or the other to the workplace for yourself.
You could soak your feet in Epsom Salts at night or get someone to give you a foot massage. You could ask to be transferred to a position or department that wouldn’t require so much standing, or you could look for a different job elsewhere.
Or you could play the victim card and file a million-dollar lawsuit against your employer for making your feet hurt.
That’s what Michelle McGarrett did.
On the last day of last year, McGarrett filed a personal injury lawsuit in Harris County District Court against the Whole Foods Market on Louella Road in Houston, alleging that the store is responsible for her foot pain.
According to McGarrett, the store originally had anti-fatigue mats in the food preparation area where she had “to stand in a single spot for long periods of time,” but subsequently removed them. “Whole Foods Market decided to keep the tile floor bare, with no anti-fatigue mats, and no other accommodations to perform the job safely,” her suit asserts.
McGarrett claims she was eventually diagnosed with a stress fracture, which forced her to stop working.
If the case goes to trial, McGarrett will get the chance to itemize what efforts she made to alleviate her foot pain. She’ll also get to explain how she and her attorney, Michael Panesar, determined that a stress fracture is worth a million dollars.