In March 2014, Casey Devoti Brockland represented Gwendolyn Medley in a personal injury case against Joyce Meyer Ministries. We frequently reference this case as a clear example of the possibility and danger of a slip and fall injury. Let’s take a closer look.
About the Personal Injury Case
Gwendolyn was attending Joyce Meyer’s “Love Life” Women’s Conference in September 2010 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis when she fell into a souvenir display. The display was constructed by the ministry’s carpenters and designed to look like a downtown storefront window.
Several witnesses described the area as “congested” and “crowded” at the time of Gwendolyn’s incident, creating limited sight distance. Even ministry employees admitted at trial that the window display served no functional purpose and could have easily been placed in the main concourse. Unfortunately, Gwendolyn fell into the display and suffered injuries to both of her legs, the most significant of which was an abrasion on her left shin that became infected. Gwendolyn was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, more commonly known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Slip and Fall
Like many people who slip and fall, Gwendolyn hesitated to file a personal injury lawsuit out of pure embarrassment for what happened. However, after consulting with our team, it became clear that she was not solely to blame for the incident. Property owners, event planners and businesses all have a certain responsibility to keep their premises safe for their patrons. In this case, it was clear that Joyce Meyer Ministries created a hazardous environment by the construction and placement of the window display.
Personal Injury Case Outcome & Appeal
Matt Devoti, with assistance from Josh Harp of the Harp Law Firm, represented Gwendolyn in her case. The case went to trial, where a jury found Joyce Meyer Ministries to be 70% at fault for Gwendolyn’s incident and awarded her $280,000. The case was later upheld in an appeals court, marking a significant victory for Gwendolyn and the Casey Devoti Brockland team.
Accidents Happen Everywhere
Gwendolyn’s case reminds us that accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. When you think “slip and fall,” you probably think of a catastrophic accident involving a rolling soup can at the grocery store. In reality, however, these cases are much more mundane. They typically involve the things we take for granted, like dry surfaces and clear signs.
Some of the most common places for slips, trips and falls include:
- Restaurant walkways
- Drink stations in convenience stores
- Building lobbies and entrances
- City sidewalks
What to Do Next
We know you may feel embarrassed after a slip and you may want to simply brush it off. But like we saw with Gwendolyn’s incident, what seems like a minor injury can become a major problem. If you ever find yourself injured in public, always make a paper trail by speaking with a manager and reporting the incident. Then, contact our personal injury attorneys as soon as you can. We’ll work with you to examine the situation and make things right.