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New Hampshire couple sues over errant prosciutto slice on the floor at Eataly they say led to a fractured ankle

A New Hampshire woman headed for a free-sample table at Eataly at the Pru last fall says she never made it because she slipped on a slice of prosciutto - and now she is suing over the fractured ankle she says she suffered.

In the lawsuit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, the woman is joined as a plaintiff by her husband for the loss of his wife's consortium during her initial hospital stay and then during physical therapy.

According to the suit, the couple was at Eataly on Oct. 7, when they spotted a free samples area and walked over. As the couple approached the area, though, the wife "slipped and fell on a piece of prosciutto on the floor injuring her left ankle and resulting in a fracture."

The lawsuit does not specify how the woman knows it was a piece of prosciutto she slipped on, but in any case, the complaint charges Eataly with negligence because the concern owed visitors a "duty of care" to maintain its premises in "a condition that would not create an unreasonable risk of harm" to the public in general and more specifically to either ensure its floors were "free from unnecessary dangers" or to provide adequate warnings to the public of any potentially slippery conditions, including those caused by thin slices of Italian ham.

In an accompanying cover sheet, the couple says they spent $2,274.68 on hospital and medical bills and have spent $5,265 on physical therapy so far. The husband and wife say they expect to be able to prove to a jury that the fall means they should be awarded at least $50,000 in damages.

Eataly has until Dec. 11 to answer the complaint.

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Comments

If this had any merit, wouldn't it have been settled out of court months ago? I bet the plaintiffs have a long history of personal injury lawsuits.

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I wish there was some threshold in the court system where people.. such as our EMAIL friend... where you've tried the same damn thing over and over and over again, and have been denied, that you've lost your right to file a lawsuit.

I get due process. But our court system is clogged up with cases like these, when there are REAL cases with REAL issues that get pushed down the docket because these cases.

Its clear there are lawyers and people out there that have nothing better to do than try to enrich themselves and their pockets by filing repetitive lawsuits.

Example: See EMAIL dude. He's one. There's many others we've seen on here over th years too.

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You can become a "vexatious litigant."

Unfortunately, our "email" friend hasn't yet annoyed enough judges to get that status.

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I get due process. But our court system is clogged up with cases like these, when there are REAL cases with REAL issues that get pushed down the docket because these cases.

I would agree that any vexatious litigation is too much, but do you have numbers or other data that shows REAL cases and REAL issues getting pushed down the docket?

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"Cohen et al v. Federal Insurance Company" 1:2020cv00689 -- but I don't have access. Something about motor vehicles.

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...but I've been told that insurance companies use a database of "frequent filers" with whom they refuse to settle. If these folks are nothing but a nuisance, it might explain the lag between an October incident and an August lawsuit. Just speculating. Meanwhile, it's funny that the whole thing started in pursuit of free samples.

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I now have personal experience. A lag of several months isn't long at all.

First, I didn't even talk to a lawyer (after multiple people urged me to) until I was recovered from the major surgery I required. Then it took time to collect all the required paperwork (can't ask for costs until you know the final tally). Then my attorney had to file (filing comes before settlement - why do you think anyone would offer a settlement if they weren't being sued?). Lots of discovery. Other side deposed me. My attorney and the other side are now bargaining over the amount of the settlement - a fair chunk of the payout will go to my insurance company to reimburse the thousands of dollars they spent on my surgery, hospitalization and rehab, plus of course some goes to the attorney.

My injury was a few years ago. The process is slow.
This is not a comment on the merits of this suit, just an explanation of the process and how long it can take.

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They are claiming $7,539.68 in actual damages and $50,000 total. Is the difference "her husband for the loss of his wife's consortium during her initial hospital stay and then during physical therapy"? I'd love to see an itemization of the latter.

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(Which might be a reasonable thing to include in other circumstances.)

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In a suit you can generally include claims for future costs expected as a result of the injury in addition to those already incurred. For example, if their doctor believes there will be a need for future surgeries, or if her mobility has been impacted so that they need to make modifications to her lifestyle (like a stair lift in the house) they could include those as part of the damages from the injury. I have no idea if that is the case here or the merits, but it's not unusual for claims to exceed the currently paid costs if there is a reasonable argument that she'll continue to bear costs from the damage into the future.

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If they used health insurance, the insurer will put a lien on the award to recoup the money they spent. It also includes attorney fees and expenses (might well be a third of the award plus payment to experts who examine the medical and other evidence).

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50 thou doesn’t sound like all that much to ask for, which makes me think there’s some question about seriously she is was injured, or if she was even injured at all

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Is known to be the lowest of all the cured meats. If it had been a piece of mortadella she probably wouldn't have slipped.

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...like the last guy who took a fall at Eataly.

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If it had been a piece of mortadella

I realize you're doing a bit here, but mortadella has to have one of the lowest coefficients of friction of any deli meat.

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Sorry.

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A high mortadellity rate would indicate the opposite, that slipping on a piece of mortadella leads to more fatalities rather than less. I ham quite certain of that. Studies have proveloned it to be a fact.

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We’ve already done the baloney thing.

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I was doing a bit and just tried to think of a charcuterie off the top of my head.

But mortadella has like 15% fat cubes, and prosciutto must have at least 50% fat. I’d say prosciutto would actually be more slippery because if the higher fat content.

Is there a 8th grade science teacher in UHub? We just need some adjustable ramps m, some weights and some meat to find out for sure.

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There isn't a speck of evidence to support that claim.

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n/t

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Drop the chalupa!

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"Leave the gun, take the chalupa"

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Sliding on prosciutto prevents slipping of salami.

Nancy Reagan would be so proud

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  1. If you check your health insurance policy, it is likely that you have agreed to assist your health insurer in cases where they think they can recover damages. So a lot of seemingly ridiculous cases ("I can't believe that witch sued her own mom after falling down the stairs in mom's house!") stem from this -- it wasn't her decision to sue, but her health insurer's, but she's listed as the plaintiff and she's obligated to cooperate.
  2. Some of these cases that seem ridiculous on the face, actually have substantial merit. The McDonald's Coffee Case was frequently trotted out by the defendant's bar as evidence that tort law was out of control, but when the facts emerged, it turned out that McDonalds was a particularly bad actor in this case.
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I don't know how old the injured plaintiff is, but fracturing an ankle at an advanced age is more than a minor pain.

Suit seems very reasonable to me

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….. which side of the 5 second rule the errant slice of prosciutto fell on.

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Were meats often found on the floor?

Is Eataly supposed to be continuously patrolling the premises for errant meats?

My point is that maybe the meat had just fallen on the floor. Surely they can't be found liable if that's possible. If Eataly had a record of crap on the floor, have at it.

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If this was a UK crime drama, they’d be checking the CCTV for a previous free sample taker who dropped their cold cut on the floor.

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If this were a UK crime drama, the victim would've been smothered by hundreds of pounds of prosciutto dropped from 20 feet up (given that the killer cheese wheel idea had already been done).

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It's not the plaintiff's job to figure out how long the prosciutto was lying there, just like it's not the customer's job to keep the store's floor clean. Maybe Eataly can produce evidence that the floor was clean a minute earlier, but there's no reason to assume that. It's also possible that the meat was there for 15 or 20 minutes. It's also possible that another customer saw the prosciutto ten or fifteen minutes earlier, told a cashier about it, and the cashier said something like "sorry, I can't leave the register."

But by all means, you can assume both that a larger corporation is innocent and that an individual is only in it for the money.

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But by all means, you can assume both that a larger corporation is innocent and that an individual is only in it for the money.

Which is entirely possible.

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It's not the plaintiff's job to figure out how long the prosciutto was lying there

But, the plaintiff has to prove what they claim actually happened.
Is there even a record of the incident?
How do we even know she slipped on something? And that it was prosciutto?
Maybe she dropped it.
And again, if the slice was on the floor for 5 seconds, should Eataly be held liable? 10 secs? A minute? Are they supposed to have an army of employees whose sole responsibility is to roam around and check the floor?

But by all means, you can assume both that a larger corporation is innocent and that an individual is only in it for the money.

I'm not assuming anything, I'm just bringing up questions. You're the one that is assuming Eataly is responsible, no questions asked.

In the plaintiff's favor is that they are asking for a small amount for damages instead of the mandatory million dollar minimum.

As an aside, Jim and Margerie discussed this case yesterday on their show and had a caller who was priceless. It was an older woman with a thick Italian accent who claimed it would be impossible to slip on prosciutto for various reasons. Who knows if her reasons were valid, but it was definitely an entertaining call.

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Does anyone know why the Pru closed a perfectly good Food Court to allow this place to open? Did they make an offer that couldn't be refused?

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If this country had a functional healthcare system and a safety net for people who find themselves victims of ill-fortune and basic accidents, these lawsuits would not exist. Nobody is going to calmly accept going homeless because they're facing 10k of unexpected costs due to our predatory healthcare costs and at-will, "show up hurt or don't show up again" employment system. They'll sue any and everyone that seems like there's blood in that there stones, just out of desperate self-preservation.

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Really? So now every place of business needs a sign saying, "Watch where you're going!"? Isn't it your mom's job to teach you that when you're about 4 years old?

If only putting up such a sign would prevent lawsuits like this, but it's never that easy.

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But not in Dad’s job description?
Do you need a sign saying don’t be you know what?

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