Lawrenceville, Ga January 20, 2012 1:30pm.
The allegations in the case included that the customer sustained serious injury, necessitation a 5-level cervical fusion, when he fell in a foreign substance at a Kroger grocery store. The trial judge struck Kroger’s answer and found it liable for the injuries sustained by the customer when evidence developed during discovery suggested that the Kroger employees had tampered with and destroyed video surveillence footage of the incident and had deliberately deceived the customer’s lawyer during the lawsuit. Thus, the jury was only charged with the duty to arive at a dollar figure that would compensate the customer for his injuries and permanent disability.
The Gwinnett County Jury also found that Kroger had been stubbornly litigious. Based on that factual finding, the judge sent them back to the jury room for a second round of deliberations. This time their job was to calculate the attorneys fees and expenses incurred by the customer and to reimburse him for those expenses. After about five minutes of deliberations, the jury awarded an additional 40% of its base verdict of $1.689 Million for a grand total of $2,364,600.