Blank Wins Trial for Home Depot
Partner Robert L. Blank from RumbergerKirk’s Tampa office won a premises liability trial for Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. The plaintiff, a six-year Home Depot employee, alleged injuries from shopping at a different Home Depot store. He claimed another employee negligently slid a carpet-cutting machine into his lower back causing traumatic injury to his L4-L5 vertebrae. Blank elicited expert medical testimony that the plaintiff’s claimed injuries resulted from traumatic and degenerative back problems pre-dating the carpet machine incident. The plaintiff also claimed that Home Depot failed to properly designate the area for the carpet-cutting machine. Blank presented evidence that a yellow-bounded caution area surrounded the carpet machine and that the plaintiff had received significant training about the caution areas during his own Home Depot employee training.
After two hours of deliberation, the jury ruled in the defendant’s favor. The Honorable James McIver, Circuit Court Judge for the Twentieth Judicial Court, delivered the verdict. Home Depot’s Motion for Fees and Costs is currently pending before the court.