Walmart Settles Slip-and-Fall Suit Where It Destroyed Evidence (1)

Dec. 5, 2018, 7:12 PM; Updated: Dec. 5, 2018, 8:16 PM

Walmart Inc. has settled a West Virginia woman’s slip-and-fall case following a mistrial.

The company destroyed video evidence, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia determined before the Oct. 22 trial. The jury was unable to reach a verdict.

Loretta Gayle Ballard said she was shopping at a Walmart store when she slipped in a liquid, fell, and badly hurt her shoulder, according to the court.

The federal court overseeing the case was at least the ninth to have sanctioned the retailer over the last five years for losing or destroying evidence, mostly video footage relevant to slip-and-fall cases.

Walmart willfully failed to preserve the video footage in Ballard’s suit, the court here said Oct. 15.

The parties went to mediation in November, according to the docket. The court dismissed the case Dec. 4. The matter has settled, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove confirmed Dec. 5.

“The terms are confidential and both sides are pleased with the resolution,” Hargrove said.

An attorney for Ballard didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Flaherty Sensabaugh & Bonasso, Bailey & Glasser, and the Lorea Law Firm represented the plaintiff.

MacCorkle Lavender PLLC represented Walmart unit Wal-Mart Stores East LP.

The case is Ballard v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, S.D. W.Va., No. 5:17-cv-03057, 12/5/18.

(Adds comment from Walmart confirming settlement)

To contact the reporter on this story: Martina Barash in Washington at mbarash@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com

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