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Averyt v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Colorado Supreme Court
265 P.3d 456 (2011)


Holly Averyt (plaintiff) was a commercial truck driver. When making a delivery to a store owned by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Wal-Mart) (defendant), Averyt slipped on grease. The fall caused injury to her shoulder and neck and ruptured a disc in her spine. Averyt brought a negligence suit against Wal-Mart. As a result of Averyt’s injuries, she could no longer drive a truck for a living, a job that she loved to do. The injuries also left Averyt with chronic pain. Doctors testified that the chronic pain caused changes in Averyt’s personality, including depression, insomnia, and a lack of concentration. Friends also testified that after the injuries Averyt looked worn down and tired all the time, in contrast to her formerly upbeat personality prior to the injuries. A jury found in favor of Averyt and awarded her $4.5 million in economic damages, $5 million for physical impairment, and $5.5 million in non-economic damages. The trial court reduced the non-economic damages award to $366,250 in accordance with a statutory cap. The trial court then granted Wal-Mart’s motion for a new trial. Averyt appealed directly the Colorado Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rice, J.)

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