Patron slips on wet hallway floor as he leaves restroom.
- Case Name: Jorge Perez v. Hibachi Buffet
- Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC659957
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, October 07, 2019
- Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, May 02, 2017
- Type of Case: Negligence, Premises Liability, Slip and Fall
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Holly Kendig
Plaintiffs: Jorge Perez, 43, warehouse supervisor.
Defendants: Hibachi Buffet
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $850,000
- Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
Past medical specials: $150,000 and
Future medical specials: $100,000
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 8 days.
- Jury Deliberation Time: 1 hour.
- Jury Polls: 12-0 on negligence.
- Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Defendant to file motions for JNOV as well as to reduce the verdict based upon the insufficient medical testimony from plaintiff’s medical expert witness.
Attorney for the Plaintiff:
Kramer Holcomb Sheik by Daniel Kramer and Teresa Johnson, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Yee & Associates by Frank Sabaitis, Pasadena.
Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Rajan Patel, M.D., orthopedic surgery. (Treating physician.)
Defendant's Medical Expert(s):
Kevin Ehrhart, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Santa Monica.
Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):
Brad Avrit, safety engineering.
Defendant's Technical Expert(s):
Facts and Background
Facts and Background:
On January 7, 2017, plaintiff Jorge Perez went for lunch to Hibachi Buffet, an Asian-style buffet restaurant located in Inglewood. Plaintiff went to the restroom, which was located off of a long hallway that also led to the kitchen.
As he left the restroom, plaintiff slipped on a trail of liquid leading down the hallway and landed on his left knee, where it fractured in multiple pieces.
Plaintiff contended that the trail of liquid was created by one of defendant's employees, who used that hallway to access the kitchen. Plaintiff provided circumstantial evidence that the dangerous condition was created by defendant based on testimony of employees, photographs, and discovery responses. Plaintiff contended that the floor was slippery when wet. Plaintiff contended that there was no way to see the liquid before the fall, as it blended in with the floor.
Defendant denied liability and contended that there was no evidence from which the jury could reasonably infer or conclude that an employee had created the spill in the time frame in which plaintiff was in the restroom. Defendant contested the medical bills to date and argued that plaintiff would not need any future treatment.
Injuries and Other Damages
Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff suffered from a comminuted fracture of his left patella (fracture of multiple pieces) that required ORIF surgery. Past medical expenses included ORIF surgery and meniscectomy, physical therapy, PRP injection, and ongoing care from orthopedic surgeon. Future medicals include knee replacement surgery and therapy.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $150,500.30
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $75,000-$125,000
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff §998 Demand: On March 26, 2018: $499,999.99
- Defendant §998 Offer: On September 9, 2019: $250,001.