Pet store customer injured when metal bar falls from shelving unit under construction; defendant says she shouldn't have been in the store.
- Case Name: Rutan v. Baker
- Court and Case Number: Riverside Superior/ RIC524225
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, December 09, 2011
- Type of Case: Premises Liability
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Craig G. Riemer
Plaintiffs: Aurora Rutan, in her 40s, day-care provider
Defendants: Kathleen Baker, James Baker, Spoiled Pets and Accessories
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $135,250
- Net Verdict or Award: $104,819 - reduced due to comparative negligence (22.5%).
- Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
- Jury Polls: 10-2 on most votes
Attorney for the Plaintiff: Kyle J. Scott Law Firm by Kyle J. Scott, Newport Beach
Attorney for the Defendant: Bonnie R. Moss & Associates by Mark R. Devey, Riverside
Plaintiff’s Medical Experts: Ernestina Saxton, M.D., neurology, Los AngelesCastoria Seymore, M.D., pain management, Inglewood
Defendant's Medical Experts: Jeffrey A. Bounds, M.D., neurology, Loma Linda
Facts and Background
Facts and Background:
On Feb. 17, 2008 plaintiff went into the defendant pet store. A metal bar fell off a shelving unit and hit plaintiff.
No sign was present regarding work being done on the shelving unit and no one advised her to not enter or remain in store.
Plaintiff entered store when it was closed for remodeling. Defendants claimed to have told plaintiff to leave the store. Plaintiff's symptoms were due to pre-existing problems such as stress and Bell's Palsy.
Injuries and Other Damages
Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Brachial plexus injury, causalgia, chronic pain syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, headaches, neck injury, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and shoulder injury.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $87,500 after Howell reductions.
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $60,000.00
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1 million