CARSON CITY – Supreme Court of the state reversed a $3.526 million judgment made Thursday against a restaurant in Las Vegas restaurant based on the grounds that the judge who awarded the claim excluded in the testimony that the petitioner who claimed slipping on the premises had already been drinking and had been suffering from previous back pain.
The justices thrown out a Clark County District Court jury decision that Carmine’s Little Italy should pay its client, Debbie Giglio damages and attorney fees for the back injuries and pain she sustained from a fall while on her way to a restroom. In the year 2009, the jury awarded the amount of $3.5 million on the basis that the restaurant was 51 % at fault and Giglio 49 % at fault in the fall.
Giglio’s boyfriend who is now her husband, Raymond Schrefel, testified that she slipped on an oily substance on a floor in the restaurant; although restaurant managers claimed that the floor was clear.
But in the final decision, justices stated that Judge Timothy Williams made the mistake of not allowing jurors to hear the fact that Giglio had been drinking prior to the slip and that she had been a back pain sufferer for 11 years before her fall. She has been purchasing medicines prescribed by doctors for back pain even seven years before the fall.
Giglio contended that the fall caused the removal of a disc in her neck and two discs from her lower back. However, the pain was not relieved by surgery; and that she would need a spinal stimulator and injections for future pain management.
According to the court records, Giglio had been in the restaurant 45 minutes before the fall and had consumed four beers and two glasses of wine. Schrefel had indicated Giglio drank two beers.
Justices also ruled that the liability approach of mode of operation which makes restaurants responsible for injuries of patrons in self-service restaurants is not applicable in Carmine’s Little Italy as it is a sit-down restaurant.
Giglio is still available to seek for a new trial, but it is now based on the findings made in the Supreme Court decision.
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