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Enhanced Surveillance Video & Imagery Aids in Seven-Figure Settlement for Fatal Slip & Fall

A grocery store’s water-soaked tiles crumbled after years of neglect. Instead of renovating the floor or blocking it off completely, QFC, a suburban grocery chain in Washington, laid a decrepit floormat on top of the defect. Consequently, when 76-year-old Linda Selymes browsed the meat department, her foot caught onto the mat, causing her to fall headfirst onto the ground. She was unresponsive as employees and bystanders crowded around Linda to help and called 911. Tragically, eight hours after her fall, Linda succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital.

While at the hospital before her death, doctors ordered CT scans of Linda’s brain and heart, revealing a large subdural hematoma, hemorrhaging, and intracranial herniation. Devastated by the loss of his wife, Linda’s husband contacted his family attorney, seeking help on the best legal recourse to take. The attorney referred the case to John Greaney of the Greaney Scudder Law Firm, PLLC, a personal injury lawyer with over 40 years of experience.

John conducted formal discovery and obtained the store surveillance footage. No witness statements were produced. In addition, the raw surveillance videotape capturing the fall was indistinct and made it difficult to discern what happened. Then, the case came to a standstill for months as the pandemic struck. Nevertheless, John remained diligent, requesting to examine the floormat that Linda tripped on. However, the Defense claimed they threw out the mat and were unwilling to cooperate with discovery, prompting John to file another suit to unearth additional evidence. Finally, John’s efforts paid off: he tracked down a witness who took photos of the mat immediately after the incident.

As John prepared for mediation, he retained several experts, including a storage safety specialist, an economist, and a neurosurgeon. Then, he brought on DK Global to create visual demonstratives that corresponded with his experts’ testimony. He shared his evidence to the opposition in a detailed mediation letter but planned on disclosing the demonstrative in-person to keep an advantage over their claims.

The presentation began by showing photos of the grocery store’s unkept aisles and deteriorating floors. Using the witness's pictures, measurements were overlaid onto the battered floormat, showing its corners protruding almost an inch off the ground. Next, a closer and improved view of the surveillance footage showed Linda browsing the meat section as usual. The floormat was highlighted, showing it folding over as Linda’s feet caught the edge. To better visualize the impact of Linda’s fall, a 3D model of her likeness was recreated and demonstrated her coup-contrecoup injury. Finally, to help illustrate the extent of Linda’s pain and suffering, her CT scans were displayed and enriched to show the location and severity of her brain damage.

During the mediation, the Defense showed footage of other customers walking over the mat with no issue, contending Linda must have been inattentive. They offered $50,000 to settle the case and attempted to minimize Linda’s damages due to her age. After hearing all the Defense's claims, John shared his trump card: the enhanced surveillance footage and animation. He attained a seven-figure settlement for Linda’s surviving family one month before trial.

For over 40 years, John J. Greaney of Greaney Scudder Law Firm, PLLC has specialized in wrongful death accidents, serious personal injury, and premises liability. Before opening his own office, John served as counsel for an insurance defense firm. Now, as a top-rated plaintiff’s personal injury attorney in Kent, Washington, John uses his knowledge and expertise to represent those harmed by wrongdoings.


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"This one, even after 40 years of being an attorney, awakened me to the great value of accurate visualizations and their use; even in modest, or medium-sized cases, to the big one."
John J. Greaney – Greaney Scudder Law Firm, PLLC




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Although the facts and outcomes presented in this email are intended to be true and accurate, they represent the reporting of a unique matter and do not imply or guarantee any type of result or outcome for matters in which DK Global is involved.
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