Schnabel v. Hy-Vee, Inc.
William Lewis and Haley Peerson convinced a Clay County jury to assess no fault on Hy-Vee for a slip and fall involving a 72 year old woman. Plaintiff claimed that she fell when she stepped out of her car in the parking lot at the Gladstone Hy-Vee. She testified that as she stepped out of her vehicle, her ankle twisted and she fell forward into a puddle of muddy water. She believed that because her ankle twisted, her foot must have been in a “hole” in the parking lot. The Plaintiff testified that she could not see the “hole” in the parking lot because there was snow piled up in the parking lot, which was melting and causing a “river” to run through the parking lot and conceal the “hole”. Plaintiff suffered a fracture to her patella as a result of this fall.
The defense introduced evidence that there had been a snow storm a day or two before the incident and that the parking lot had been scraped and salted. The defense also presented evidence that Hy-Vee’s managers and employees regularly inspected the parking lot and if there had been a dangerous condition in the parking lot, it would have been taken care of. The defense also argued that Plaintiff had a duty to watch where she was stepping.
Plaintiff asked the jury to award a verdict in her favor of $70,000 – 80,000. The jury returned a verdict finding no fault on Hy-Vee and awarding Plaintiff $0.