Revenge of the Condiments

As further proof that an injury can happen any time and in any number of different ways, an injured woman recovered $75,000 in damages caused by slipping on a jalapeño pepper. She was at her local Wal-Mart and slipped on the jalapeño after leaving the counter at the snack bar. She testified that the area around the snack bar was dirty and that the jalapeño she slipped on was "wrinkled" and "not fresh," as if it had been there for some time. Based on this, the jury decided that Wal-Mart should have known that the pepper was on the floor, and it awarded the woman $75,000 for her medical bills, past and future pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

Airbag Danger

In another case, a jury gave an injured driver an award of almost $1 million for injuries the driver suffered when the airbag in her car delayed in opening. Airbags are designed to fully deploy in 50 milliseconds, but the evidence showed that this airbag did not completely open for 120 milliseconds. Because of the delay, the driver's face was within the "knock-out zone" as the bag was deploying, and the deploying bag struck her full in the face. She lost one of her eyes and her eye socket was permanently deformed. Although airbags have probably prevented far more injuries than they have caused, they are not foolproof, and airbag manufacturers can be held liable when airbags cause injuries.

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