Colorado high court upholds $10 million award in slip-and-fall

A $10 million award to a truck driver who said she slipped and fell on ice and grease while making a delivery to a Wal-Mart in Greeley was upheld by the Colorado Supreme Court.

Wal-mart had appealed the award for 41-year-old Holly Averyt of Cheyenne that was awarded by a jury last year. The original amount awarded by the jury awarded was $15 million, but the amount was reduced because of a state cap on non-economic damages.

The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday overturned a ruling granting Wal-mart a new trial. …

Legal counsel for Averyt presented city documents showing that some grease from the store’s deli didn’t get trapped in a device designed to keep it from getting into the sewer. He argued that the overflow caused a 185-foot slick of grease into the parking lot and the truck ramp area, which accumulated for seven days.

The lawyer argued that since the December 2007 accident, Averyt had to undergo three spine surgeries — one on her neck and two on her back. He told the Greeley Tribune newspaper that Averyt was unable to return to work, had the truck she lived in repossessed and incurred about $500,000 in medical bills.

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