The wife of the plaintiff Mr. Danny Mitchell purchased a footstool manufactured by the Defendant, Chic Home Trends, Inc. from the other Defendant Big Lots Stores Inc. in December of 2005. She bought it for their condo in Florida. The metal decorative legs of the footstool curved upward at the bottom.
On January 2nd, 2006, Mr. Mitchell stepped on the stool but missed and actually stepped on the part of the stool that points up and punctured his foot. The wound was very deep, but it did not completely impale the plaintiff’s foot.
Mr. Mitchell filed suit against both the manufacture of the stool and the retailer who sold it claiming strict liability and negligence under Florida law. He also claimed that the stool was defectively designed and manufactured and was unreasonable dangerous.
Big Lots settled with the plaintiff prior to the trial in the amount of $16,500 and the case proceeded against the manufacturer. Chic Home Trends denied the plaintiffs allegations about the stool being defectively designed and manufactured and that it was unreasonably dangerous. The company further contended that the plaintiff was contributory negligent for his injury because he was not watching what he was doing when he stepped onto the stool. They also claimed that the plaintiff misused the stool.
The alleged injuries were a puncture wound to his foot that was treated by a podiatrist, who then cleaned the wound. The plaintiff recovered very well, although he continued to experience numbness. Mr. Mitchell claimed $9.450 in past medical bills and two to three days of missed work at a rate of $1,375 per week.
The jury deliberated for 4 hours and the verdict was $45,556, which was reduced by $16,500 due to the plaintiff’s previous settlement with Big Lots.