Man Wins $4M Verdict After Being Blinded in Fall on Store Sidewalk

Damages of $4 million have been awarded to a York, Pa., man after a fall in 2012 that blinded him in his left eye as he exited a store in a small shopping center.

The victim, William Waite, who was 79 at the time of the incident, had just left the store on July 3, 2012 at 2861 East Prospect Road in York when he lost his footing “due to an allegedly unseen single step” near the entrance of one of the three stores in the shopping center, according to a March 30 story by The Legal Intelligencer. As he fell, his left eye struck a top corner of an Adirondack chair which was located next to the sidewalk, causing injuries that blinded him in that eye. Waite already had little or no vision in his right eye, so the injuries from his fall essentially left him blind, according to the report.

Waite filed a lawsuit in June of 2013 against the owners of the shopping center property, Argento Family Partnership, alleging that the step outside the store was dangerous and had no posted warning or safety signs about its potential hazards, leading to the victim’s injuries. The step was difficult to spot, did not stand out visually from the sidewalk next to it and had no handrail, according to the plaintiff’s complaint. The victim’s injury allegedly could have been avoided had painted or posted markings been added to the step area over the years, the plaintiffs noted.

After four days of a trial in the York County Court of Common Pleas, a jury deliberated for less than an hour before reaching a $4 million verdict for the plaintiff.

Photo credit: iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

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