A Hampton, Virginia jury awarded a Williamsburg woman more than $12.2 million in a slip-and-fall case. In August 2003, Annette Ritzmann was walking into what was then a Miller Mart on the corner of Lafayette Street and Richmond Road to buy a newspaper and pay for gas when she slipped on a small puddle caused by a leaky awning. She landed on her chest and chin, and a witness would later say the impact sent her head snapping back. The fall occurred at a gas convenience store.
After returning to work days later to her job running European Beauty Concepts she found herself unable to concentrate or do many things at once. Her doctors eventually diagnosed her with post-concussion symptoms. Ritzmann continues to suffer seizures, in which she appears to stare into the distance for minutes at a time
She hired an attorney who specializes in brain injury lawsuits. A jury found Miller Mart and its insurance companies liable for her injury and awarded her more than $12.2 million. Her attorneys were able to get the Miller Mart officials to admit in depositions that they knew the outside curb was dangerous. Recent medical advances were also important in showing the extensive damage to Ritzmann’s brain.