We represented a fantastic octogenarian.  (Before law school I didn’t know what the term “octogenarian” meant.  It means someone in their 80s.)

Our client took a shortcut through a shopping center.  She walked past a store.  Like lots of big box retailers it had merchandise stored on pallets in front.

One of the pallets had plastic partially removed (so that the product could be accessed by customers).  As our client passed the pallet the wind blew.  The plastic from the pallet blew out and got tangled on her foot.  She fell and broke her hip and wrist.

We were initially worried that the store owner would argue that our client was a trespasser (after all, she wasn’t there to shop, she was taking a shortcut).  But that wasn’t the defense.

The owner of the store (or, actually, the insurance company for the store) argued that the hazard was open and obvious.  How in the world could plastic (that should have been removed) be open and obvious when it blew out in front of our client just before it tangled around her feet and tripped her.

Apparently the insurance company didn’t have a lot of faith in this defense and settled the case for a confidential figure approaching half a million dollars.

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