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Seven-Figure Settlement Attained in Fatal Slip & Fall by Augmenting Surveillance Video With Animation

For years, QFC, a suburban grocery chain in Washington, neglected to repair one of their store’s water-damaged floors. Instead of renovating or blocking off the area, staff laid a worn floormat on top of the hazard. Consequently, when 76-year-old Linda Selymes browsed the meat department, she tripped over the mat and fell headfirst onto the ground. She was unresponsive. Unfortunately, Linda succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital eight hours later. John Greaney of the Greaney Scudder Law Firm, PLLC, a personal injury lawyer with over 40 years of experience, attained a seven-figure settlement for Linda’s surviving family with an animation that augmented a CCTV recording of the incident.

Before her death, doctors took CT scans of Linda’s brain and heart, revealing a large subdural hematoma, hemorrhaging, and intracranial herniation. Linda’s husband was devastated. His family attorney referred the case to John Greaney to help hold QFC accountable.

John subpoenaed the surveillance video and witness statements collected from the store’s employees. However, the raw footage capturing the fall was grainy, making it difficult to discern what happened. Then, he requested to examine the floormat that Linda tripped on. However, QFC's attorneys stated they threw out the mat and were uncooperative during discovery, prompting John to file another suit to gather more evidence. Ultimately, John managed to track down a witness who took photographs of the mat immediately after the incident.

John prepared for mediation and retained several experts to help testify, including a storage safety specialist, an economist, and a neurosurgeon. Then, he shared his evidence with DK Global to refine the low-quality video with an animation that aligned with his expert testimonies. He planned to disclose the demonstrative in-person to keep an advantage over the opposition’s claims.

The presentation began with photos of the store’s unkept aisles and warped water-soaked tiles. Using the witness's pictures, measurements were superimposed over the decrepit floormat and revealed its corners protruding almost an inch off the ground. Next, a closer and enhanced view of the surveillance footage captured Linda shopping. The floormat was highlighted and showed it folding over as Linda tripped over its edges. To better visualize her fall, Linda's likeness was modeled in 3D and simulated her coup-contrecoup injury. Finally, her CT scans were displayed and colorized to identify the location and gravity of her brain damage.

At mediation, the Defense contended Linda must not have been paying attention and shared footage of other customers walking over the mat with no issue. They offered $50,000 to settle the case, stating Linda’s damages were negligible due to her age. Finally, John shared the animation, prompting the Defense to increase their offer. He attained a seven-figure settlement for Linda’s surviving family just 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.

"Proving what kind of pain and suffering she had for that eight to ten minutes was a challenge, and we did that through DK Global and their depictions of the CT scans of the brain."
John J. Greaney – Greaney Scudder Law Firm, PLLC
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