Wet floor at movie theater causes slip and fall. $1.8M. Los Angeles County.


Retiree slips on wet floor in movie theatre on rainy day in 2016. Plaintiff beats CCP 998.

The Case

  • Case Name: Robert Carmack v. American Multi-Cinema, Inc.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC721028
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, April 13, 2022
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, September 11, 2018
  • Type of Case: Premises Liability, Slip and Fall
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Michele Flurer
  • Plaintiffs:
    Robert Carmack, 62, retired.
  • Defendants:
    American Multi-Cinema, Inc.
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $1,810,000
  • Net Verdict or Award: $1,357,500
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 75% AMC; 25% Mr. Carmack
  • Economic Damages:

    Future medical expenses: $385,000 

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $550,000

    Future: $875,000 

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 7 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 7 hours
  • Jury Polls: 9-3

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Law Offices of Brian Breiter, LLP by Chance J. Pardon, Timothy R. McCormick and Sung "Sean" Kim, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP by Brian Moss, Vista.

    Orion Construction by Sean Dowsing, Vista.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
    Andrew Fox, M.D.
    Matthew Enna, M.D.
  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Andrew Fox, M.D. (neurosurgery), Matthew Enna, M.D. (orthopedic surgery

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Jerome Stenehjem, M.D., life expectancy and reasonable value of future medical expenses.

    Mark J. Spoonamore, M.D., orthopedic spine surgery.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Mark Burns, premises liability standard of care.

    Rami Hashish, Ph.D. DPT, biomechanics.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Kenneth Solomon, Ph.D., premises liability standard of care, human factors, biomechanics.


Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Robert Carmack went to his local AMC theater with his wife for a weekend date at the matinee on October 30, 2016. It had been raining earlier and when they arrived. AMC directed customers to enter the theater to purchase tickets through a path delineated by stanchions. The path chosen by AMC was over a slippery terrazzo floor. AMC placed two mats on the floor, with a gap in between. When plaintiff stepped off the first mat he slipped and fell, sustaining neck, shoulder, and back injuries.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant theater's negligent actions in dealing with a wet floor caused him to slip and incur injury.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff tripped instead of slipping; they were not negligent because one mat was enough; plaintiff did not suffer significant injuries in the fall; all of plaintiff's surgeries were caused by pre-existing conditions.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Plaintiff suffered a nerve injury at C5-6-7 that required a two-level fusion, a partial rotator cuff tear that developed to a full tear requiring arthroscopic surgery, and a temporary exacerbation of pre-existing back issues.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: 849,000
  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: 450,000
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: 50,000

Additional Notes

Plaintiff served a 998 in January 2022 for $849,000, made an offer of $450,000 before trial, and offered a high-low during trial of $1,500,000-$200,000. AMC's highest offer was $50,000 before trial.