April Jones was browsing her local Walmart on Beltline Drive in South Carolina on June 26, 2015, when she stepped on a rusty nail in the store’s main aisle. The nail was very sharp and stabbed through her shoe and into the bottom of her foot. Although she hoped that the incident would just go away, an infection developed, and Jones found herself being rushed into surgery – and ultimately had to endure three surgeries, including an amputation of her right leg above the knee because of the rusty nail that was exposed in the main aisle of the South Carolina Walmart.
Now Jones has been awarded $10 million from Walmart because of their negligence. Since the 2015 incident, Jones has been bound to a wheelchair and needed to undergo three separate amputations because of the life-threatening infection that developed from the jab of the rusty nail. Now the mother has been left without much of her right leg.
Surgeons firsts began amputating Jones’s toes. However, that did not stop the infection from spreading. Doctors had to continue operating on her and ultimately cut off most of her right leg. For six years, Jones has been stuck in a wheelchair, and her life has been “significantly interrupted” because of Walmart’s negligence. She has been represented by the Anastopoulo Law Firm.
Jones’s legal team was able to show that Walmart failed to adequately check their store aisle for safety.
“The weakness of Walmart’s case, among other things, was their failure to produce a video that they claim showed their conforming behavior to a company policy calling for employees to perform regular safety sweeps. No such evidence was presented for the duration of the five-day-long trial,” the law firm wrote in a statement.
Trial counsel Roy T. Willey IV added, “The jury sent a message to Walmart that if you come into Florence County and injure one of their own, they will make sure that person is taken care of. We are forever grateful.”
Walmart released a statement in response to the lawsuit, saying that they were saddened by what happened to Jones but still believe that they are not at fault.
“This was a tragic accident, and we are deeply sorry for Ms. April Jones’ injuries. We firmly believe that we were not negligent in this case. While we sympathize with Ms. Jones, we are pleased that the jury found there was no willful or wanton conduct on our part in this case,” the statement read.
The company plans to appeal the decision because they do not believe they should be held responsible for what happened. They also said that they plan to continue working with investigators during their investigation into how this incident occurred.
In addition to the millions of dollars awarded from Walmart, Jones was also taken care of by an additional $400,000 insurance policy that she had through her employer at the time – a subcontractor for Kohler Cabinetry in Florence County, South Carolina. The jury decided on this amount because they agreed with the defense counsel’s argument that this policy should be included and considered as part of the case.
The jury ultimately decided on a multi-million-dollar settlement for Jones, who will now have to live with her disability after she lost most of her right leg due to Walmart’s negligence.
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