Slip-and-Fall Trial Begins Over Pothole in Walmart Parking Lot, Watch Online Via CVN

Posted by David Siegel on Mar 20, 2024 9:16:33 AM

Kwan openings

CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney Jonathan Kwan delivering his opening statement

San Diego, CA- A California state court jury heard opening statements Tuesday in lawsuit filed by a woman blaming a fall that she claims required her to undergo spinal fusion surgery on a pothole in a Walmart parking lot, and the full trial is being recorded gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.

Plaintiff Kathy Morrow fell outside a San Diego-area Walmart in February 2020 and allegedly suffered multiple herniated discs in the accident. Her lawsuit blames the fall on a half-inch deep pothole just behind a parking space that she alleges was concealed by a shadow cast by a nearby car.

Her attorney, Jonathan Kwan of South Coast Trial Lawyers, told jurors that although Walmart’s internal procedures required daily sweeps of all store property, including the parking lot, that the pothole was not reported and no steps were taken to repair it.

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Kwan did not ask for a specific amount of damages in his opening statement but claimed the subsequent medical treatment Morrow required, including her fusion surgery, left her saddled with over $300,000 in medical bills.

Walmart’s attorney Andrew Kohn of Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin argued during his opening statement that CBRE Inc., a real estate firm with office space using the same shared parking lot, was responsible for maintaining the area where Morrow fell, disclosing to jurors that CBRE settled out of the case prior to trial.

Kohn also told jurors security footage and Morrow’s own deposition testimony would confirm she was using her phone at the time of the fall, and that a half-inch change in elevation is similar to what pedestrians can expect to encounter routinely in most parking lots.

Walmart openings

CVN screenshot of defense attorney Andrew Kohn delivering his opening statement

He also noted that numerous other pedestrians safely traversed the same area immediately before and after Morrow’s fall, along with suggesting her claimed medical expenses are excessive and partially driven by a physician who treated her on a lien basis and supposedly has a financial interest in the outcome of the trial.

The full trial, expected to run through next Tuesday and to include expert witness testimony from both sides, will be recorded by CVN, which has similarly covered numerous other slip-and-fall and other premises liability trials in a wide range of jurisdictions, all of which are available with a subscription to CVN’s online trial video library.

The case is captioned Kathy Morrow v. Walmart Inc., case number 37-2020-00020399-CU-PO-CTL in San Diego County Superior Court.

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Topics: Premises Liability, California