News Brief

Yvars Prevails in Trip-and-Fall Jury Trial for National Retail Clothing Store

September 20, 2021

Christopher Yvars (Partner-Denver, CO) won a defense verdict in a jury trial in Denver District Court for a national retail clothing store. While shopping at the factory outlet store, the plaintiff tripped and fell on a stanchion chain that was part of the checkout queue. The fall resulted in a broken arm at her elbow, which required medical transport and surgical intervention. The plaintiff, relying in part on expert testimony, claimed the condition, as designed and constructed, fell below the standard of care for retail store customer safety; that store knew or should have known it was a tripping hazard; and that the store breached its duty of care owed to her under Colorado’s Premises Liability Act. Chris successfully argued that plaintiff’s claim lacked merit, establishing that the stanchion was not a danger and, through effective cross of plaintiff’s expert, demonstrating the lack of any applicable industry standard.  After deliberating for less than an hour, the jury agreed in full, and ultimately did not even need to consider Chris’s additional defenses of plaintiff’s comparative fault and assumption of risk.  A complete victory for the defense.

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