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Romero v. Mervyn’s

New Mexico Supreme Court
784 P.2d 992 (N.M. 1989)


Lucy Romero (plaintiff) was shopping in Mervyn’s Department Store (Mervyn’s) (defendant) with her daughters on the day after Thanksgiving, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Romero was bumped and fell down an escalator, injuring her jaw. Dennis Wolf, the acting store manager, met with Romero and her daughters right after the incident. According to Romero, Wolf promised that Mervyn’s would pay for any medical expenses she incurred. Romero also testified that during the meeting Wolf “seemed to be kind of nervous and in a hurry since the store was busy.” Mervyn’s presented evidence that indicated that Wolf’s promise was inconsistent with Mervyn’s policy in these types of matters. As a result of her injuries, Romero incurred medical bills in the amount of $2,041. Mervyn’s refused to reimburse her so Romero brought suit under contract and negligence theories. On her contract claim, the Santa Fe District Court awarded Romero $2,041 in compensatory damages and $25,000 in punitive damages. Mervyn’s appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Ransom, J.)

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