A New Jersey man who sued Staples Inc. after injuring his back when he fell in a store was awarded more than $3.64 million in a jury verdict, the law firm representing him said Monday.
Jim Simmons was looking at computers at a Staples store in Hamilton in 2015 when an employee left a merchandise tote on the ground behind him. Simmons tripped over the tote and fell to the ground, according to a statement from Stark & Stark.
Simmons suffered a herniated disk to his lumbar spine and pain and numbness radiated into his right leg, he said. He underwent physical therapy, steroid injections and eventually two lumbar surgeries. He will undergo an additional surgery in the coming months.
The store violated its own safety policies, which led to “lifelong injuries to a customer,” according to Simmons’ attorney David Schmid.
Staples Inc. argued that Simmons was responsible for tripping and that his injuries were “degenerative” changes in his lumbar spine brought about by his age, Schmid said. Simmons was 55 at the time of the fall.
Staples did not return the AP’s request for comment.
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