Customer awarded millions in court after slipping on 'foreign substance' in Burger King
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Roman Lacheev / Ian Dagnall / Alamy
Burger King has had to pay out over $7 million in compensation after a customer slipped and injured themselves.
Richard Tulecki was at a restaurant in Florida when he fell after slipping on a 'foreign substance' near the restroom.
As a result of the fall, the 48-year-old 'suffered lower back injuries resulting in surgery', according to court documents.
In January 2021, Tulecki filed a lawsuit against the fast food giant, in which he claimed that it had been negligent in 'failing to ensure that the area and floor of the business was free and clear of any hazards'.
And a jury sided with the injured customer, awarding him $7.8m in damages, including $3.35 million for loss of earnings and $700,000 in medical expenses.
The Broward County court later adjusted the figure to $7.68 million because Tulecki's insurance had already paid for his healthcare.
Confirming the ruling, Ginnis & Krathen, who represented the claimant, said that a key part of the verdict was being able to link between the fall and their client's subsequent health problems.
"Our decades of trial experience, limitless financial and intellectual resources, along with our dedicated team of lawyers, paralegals and medical experts, allow our firm to go toe to toe with billion dollar insurance companies," said lawyer H Ross Zelnick.
"Delivering this verdict to our client means everything. Our client suffered tremendous hardship due to the Defendant's negligence.
"While no verdict could undo those damages, it will provide him and his family with the resources to move forward."
"The insurance company denied any wrongdoing and offered only $200,000 to settle this case.
"We chose not to negotiate with this unreasonable insurance carrier. Together with our client we had our day in court," added Miguel A. Amador.
The decision comes a few months after Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 837 into law, a Florida tort reform bill that Zelnick claims badly affects people's rights.
One particularly important aspect of the bill shortened the statute of limitations for those seeking to file negligence claims from four years to two.
"This bill benefits corporate giants and insurance companies to the detriment of the citizens of Florida," said Zelnick.
"A verdict of this magnitude sends a strong message that corporate greed will not be tolerated in Broward County.
"Our client left the courthouse with confidence in the civil justice system and feels that his voice was heard."