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Slip on detergent caused permanent knee injury, plaintiff claimed
Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, 11th
leg-fracture (fracture, femur);
knee-medial meniscus, tear;
knee-anterior cruciate ligament, tear;
other-pins/rods/screws; surgeries/treatment-arthroscopy; surgeries/treatment-knee surgery (knee replacement); mental/psychological-depression
Premises Liability – Store; Slips, Trips & Falls – Slip and Fall; Premises Liability – Dangerous Condition, Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance
Theresa Quintana v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., ISS Facility Services, Inc., and Intercontinental Enterprises, LLC,
October 9, 2015
Theresa Quintana (Female, 58 Years)
Gustavo D. Lage;
Sanchez-Medina, Gonzalez, Quesada, Lage, Crespo, Gomez Machado & Preira LLP;
Theresa Quintana ■ Percy Martinez;
Martinez Azoy, LLC;
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.,
ISS Facility Services, Inc.,
Intercontinental Enterprises, LLC
John R. Buchholz;
Law Offices of Clinton D. Flagg, P.A.;
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. ■ Frank Miller;
Caglianore, Miller & Lao, P.A.;
Intercontinental Enterprises, LLC ■ Nicole M. Ellis;
ISS Facility Services, Inc.
self-insured for Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.
Plaintiff Theresa Quintana, 58, unemployed, alleged that on Aug. 26, 2009, she slipped and fell on laundry detergent in the aisle floor of Winn-Dixie located at 137th Avenue in Miami. Quintana claimed she injured her left knee. Quintana sued Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., ISS Facility Services, Inc. (ISS), a cleaning services contractor, and its subcontractor, Intercontinental Enterprises, LLC, for negligence. Quintana alleged Winn-Dixie Stores failed to properly maintain its premises in a reasonable safe condition. Quintana’s counsel claimed Winn-Dixie had notice of the condition prior to her fall, and that an employee of a subcontractor of Winn-Dixie saw the blue liquid detergent spill approximately 8 to 10 minutes before she fell. Her counsel claimed the employee then left the spill unattended to go get his cleaning equipment and came back to find Quintana had fallen. Quintana’s counsel claimed the last time the aisle had been checked by Winn-Dixie was 55 to 60 minutes prior to Quintana’s fall. ISS Facility Services, Inc. argued that it was not present at the Winn-Dixie on the date of Quintana’s fall. ISS argued that there was no evidence that ISS caused or created to be caused the spill Quintana allegedly slipped and fell on. Intercontinental Enterprises, LLC argued that there was not evidence that Intercontinental created or caused to be created the spill. Moreover, both ISS and Intercontinental Enterprises also argued that the contracts did not provide for them to do cleaning of spills or maintenance. They further argued that the contracts only required them to do floor polishing and bathroom cleaning once per day. Finally, they argued that the ultimate responsibility of the cleaning of spills belonged to Winn-Dixie Stores. Winn-Dixie claimed that it did not have any notice of the condition prior to the incident.
Quintana was taken by ambulance to a local emergency room with complaints of pain in her left knee. She had X-rays and was discharged with instructions to follow-up with an orthopedist. Quintana was ultimately diagnosed with a medial meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament tears of the left knee. She underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair her knee injuries. Quintana’s arthoscopic surgery failed to alleviate her condition and she underwent a total knee replacement. Quintana claimed her knee replacement kept locking and caused stiffness in her leg, which caused her to fall shortly after the knee replacement surgery. Quintana claimed the fall resulted in a paraprosthetic distal femoral fracture requiring surgery and placement of rods and screws in her femur. She claimed residual pain and limitations performing activities of daily living. Quintana’s treating orthopedic surgeon opined that her knee replacement was necessary and causally related to her injury since the arthroscopic surgery failed to improve her condition. Quintana’s treating orthopedist opined that the femur fracture was caused by the knee replacement which in turn was caused by the incident at Winn-Dixie. Quintana claimed her lifestyle was severely impacted because she is not able to do many physical activities she used to enjoy such as boating, fishing, hunting and dancing. Quintana also claimed her injury affected her mood and left her depressed and fearful of falling. Quintana sought to recover damages for past and future medicals; and past and future pain and suffering. Quintana’s counsel suggested the jury award $150,000 in past medical expenses, and $2,250,000 to $3,750,000 for past and future pain and suffering. The defense’s expert orthopedist opined that Quintana’s knee claim was pre-existing, and not caused by the subject accident. He opined that while he believed Quintana needed an arthroscopy because of her fall at Winn-Dixie, that neither the knee replacement nor the subsequent fracture were related to that accident at Winn-Dixie. He also opined that the hardware from the knee replacement makes the surrounding bone area stronger. However, Quintana’s treating orthopedist refuted Winn-Dixie’s medical expert’s contention regarding the hardware as incorrect and contrary to established medical data. He opined that the established medical data is that the hardware actually weakens the surrounding bone, making it more susceptible to fracture.
On the third day of trial, Quintana dismissed with prejudice ISS Facility Services, Inc. from the case. On the final day of trial, the court entered a directed verdict on Theresa Quintana’s claim for future medicals, finding no evidence to support future medicals. On the final day of trial, the court entered a directed verdict for Intercontinental Enterprises, LLC, dismissing Quintana’s claim against it. The jury found Winn-Dixie, Inc. 100 percent liable. The jury determined Theresa Quintana’s damages totaled $2,359,925.
Theresa Quintana: $147,495 Personal Injury: Past Medical Cost; $2,212,430 Personal Injury: past and future pain and suffering
No Offer Made
2 male/ 4 female
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel and defense counsel for Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., and ISS Facility Services, Inc. Defense counsel for Intercontinental Enterprises, LLC did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.