B.C. woman awarded $755,000 after slipping on laundry detergent in Superstore

A neurologist said that the woman was disabled by the fall

A once “cheerful, bright, hard working and optimistic” North Vancouver woman was awarded more than $750,000 after she slipped and fell in “a large pool of laundry detergent” six years ago.

According to B.C. Supreme Court documents released Wednesday, Lori Lee Harrison was shopping at the North Vancouver Superstore on March 25, 2012, along with her son Chris and her aunt Irmgard.

After shopping for an hour-and-a-half, the trio went up to the till to pay for their items, when Harrison realized she forgot to purchase a present for her nephew’s birthday dinner that night.

The three shoppers went out to their car to unload the groceries before Harrison and her son returned to the store to purchase a Kinder Surprise chocolate treat and a card for her nephew.

As she walked to Aisle 1 to buy the chocolate, she stepped into a “large pool of liquid laundry detergent” and and began to slide towards “end cap” shelves at the end of the aisle.

Harrison said she stuck out her hands “in a manner akin to what one does when surfing” as she slid towards the end cap before hitting her left eyebrow on it.

The force of the impact pushed her backwards, and she recalled thinking that she was going to hit her head on the floor.

The next thing Harrison remembers is waking up on the floor near the end cap with a woman holding her hand, according to court documents.

She saw blood from the blow to her head on her hands, as well as the woman’s, and heard her son “screaming for an ambulance.”

Three Superstore employees, including the manager, came to help Harrison and mop up the six-foot-wide mix of blood and laundry detergent on the floor around her.

First responders arrived on scene and took her by ambulance to Lions Gate Hospital.

Two witnesses confirmed that Harrison had fallen near the end cap where the floor was covered in a “light, shiny, transparent liquid on the floor with bubbles on the edge of it,” and one testified that she had heard “a horrific thud” as Harrison fell, although she didn’t see the fall.

Harrison’s son testified that when he arrived at his mother’s side, she was lying in a pool of laundry detergent.

In his decision, Justice Jasvinder S. Basran wrote that the testimony of Harrison and the three witnesses seemed accurate and was enough to prove that Harrison had slipped on a large pool of liquid laundry detergent, hit her forehead on the end cap of Aisle 1, and subsequently fell backwards and hit the back left of her head on the floor.

Basran further wrote that although Loblaws, the owner of Superstore, had a policy of regularly inspecting floors and documenting them in a “sweep log,” the company was unable to produce a log for the grocery area where Harrison fell.

Harrison said she “felt woozy and had lost time” right after the accident. She didn’t remember the fall, parts of the ambulance ride and “reported blurry vision as well as significant pain” from the accident.

She’s had “persistent and ongoing headaches” as well as “dizziness, imbalance, nausea, difficulties with concentration and memory, insomnia, and fatigue” that make it difficult to use a computer or concentrate.

Regan Smith, a longtime friend, said Harrison no longer takes pride in her appearance, has gained more than 80 pounds and “is no longer the same person that she was before the accident.”

A neurologist found that Harrison “remains completely disabled due to the combined residual adverse effects of her injuries” from the fall.

Basran found that Harrison was “simply no longer able to work” and awarded her $755,549 in damages to be paid by Loblaws to cover loss of income, the care she will need and non-pecuniary damages.

He also ordered Loblaws to pay the province $6,671 in health-care recovery costs.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Truck gridlock predicted if CP Rail strike happens

Pitt Meadows businessman asks city hall for help

Letter: Time to end train whistles

Mapel Ridge council said it would a year ago.

It’s already a year for Maple Ridge’s tent city

Open house, tours planned for next week

Waiting word on how Maple Ridge will pay in road tolls

Mobility pricing commission report due in May

Paving program announced for Maple Ridge roads

14 streets will get new coat of asphalt

VIDEO: Work is play for this B.C. avalanche rescue dog

CARDA certified Joss’s Job is to save lives — but to her, it’s all a game

Black Press Media acquires two new Alaska newspapers

New Media Investment Group to acquire the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal while Black Press Media takes on daily newspapers in Juneau and Kenai Alaska

Thieves target B.C. firefighters helping flood victims

The service has been helping with sandbagging efforts, as rural Oliver battles flooding

B.C. towns rank in top honeymoon destination worldwide

Vernon, Kaslo, Sunshine Coast and the Island hit Expedia.ca’s list of top 18 honeymoon destinations

Olympic gold now official for B.C. weightlifter

Christine Girard’s bronze medal from 2012 Olympics upgraded to gold, IOC announces

Men arrested at Starbucks say they feared for their lives

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks, becoming viral video

Did a Canadian shoot down the Red Baron? A century later, debate hasn’t quit

Om April 21, 1918 two Canadians in their canvas-covered Sopwith Camel biplanes engaged the enemy

VIDEO: Canadian teen lands invite to Royal wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have invited Faith Dickinson, founder of Cuddles for Cancer

Most Read