POMONA — A jury Tuesday awarded a Covina woman who slipped and fell at an Industry Costco store, shattering her kneecap, more than $400,000, the woman’s attorney said.
Monika Leiterman, 58, was having lunch at the food court of the store, 17550 Castleton Street, April 1, 2009, when she slipped on puddle of liquid soap and shattered her patella, said her attorney, Michael O’Connor, of the Pasadena law firm Thon, Beck, Vanni, Callahan and Powell.
The jury ruled 12-0 in favor of Leiterman, the attorney said, awarding her a total of $414,868.28; $89,868.28 for past and future medical expenses and $325,000 in past and future pain and suffering.
“I presented evidence that numerous Costco employees had walked by the area of the spill within minutes before Ms. Leiterman fell,” O’Conner said. “They didn’t stop and clean it up, as there policies and procedures require that they do.”
Costco representatives could not be reached for comment.
As a result of the injury, Leiterman has already had one operation in which surgeon’s wired her kneecap back together, and may have to undergo two more operations, O’Conner said.
“She has a lifetime of partial loss of function and mobility and pain expected for the rest of her life,” he said.
Costco denied any responsibility in the fall, O’Conner added. “There was no offer to settle.”
The source of the liquid soap spill was uncertain, O’Conner said, however it likely leaked from a shopping cart.
The lawyer said Leiterman was “very satisfied” with the outcome of the case.