A premises liability case involving a 2006 accident in Century City, California has ended in a settlement. In the accident the case stems from, 84-year-old Jean Goode sustained personal injuries when she tripped over the base of an umbrella stand. She suffered a fractured elbow and lacerated hip in the fall.
Goode filed suit against Westfield alleging that the umbrella stand was a hazard due to its placement in a high-traffic area. The stand was located adjacent to display windows that distracted her. Her attorney argued that Westfield should have known that customers would be window shopping and not always paying full attention to objects in walkways.
Westfield responded with the argument that the umbrella stand was a type that is commonly located in malls and other outdoor facilities and posed no more danger than a bench or trash bin. They also said that no similar accidents have occurred, despite heavy traffic in the mall.
Eventually, Westfield decided to settle with Goode for $40,000.