A national retailer in a claim alleging that automatic doors on the premises were defective was successfully defended.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff claimed that as he was exiting the store the automatic doors prematurely closed causing the plaintiff to fall sustaining extensive orthopedic injuries. During the lawsuit, counsel for the plaintiff argued that the defendant retailer had an obligation to ensure that the doors were in reasonable and safe operation. Although the retailer agreed that the doors should not prematurely close on customers, employees of the retailer testified that they inspected the door each day and that they had found nothing wrong with the door.
After two weeks of trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant retailer. The trial was notable in that it was not disputed that the door closed causing the plaintiff to fall and sustain injury. Despite this evidence, the jury likely credited testimony of the employees that they took reasonable steps each and every day to ensure that the door operated safely.