A Burger King franchisee was ordered to pay almost $8 million to a customer who slipped in one of its restaurants and needed back surgery
- A Burger King franchisee was ordered to pay almost $8 million to a customer after he slipped in a restaurant.
- Richard Tulecki's lawyers say he slipped and fell on a "wet foreign substance" at a restaurant in Florida.
A Burger King franchisee was ordered to pay almost $8 million in compensation to a customer who alleged he slipped in one of its restaurants and needed back surgery.
Richard Tulecki, now 48, "slipped and fell on a wet foreign substance" near the restroom of a restaurant in Hollywood, Florida, in July 2019, according to his lawyers. The fall caused him to suffer "serious injuries," per the lawsuit.
The lawsuit, filed in January 2021, said that Burger King franchisee Seven Restaurants had breached its duty of care by exposing customers to a hazard.
A jury reached a verdict on May 11 in favor of Tulecki and awarded him damages of $7.81 million, including $3.35 million related to loss of earnings and around $700,000 for medical expenses. The total figure awarded to Tulecki was reduced to $7.68 million based on medical expenses covered by Tulecki's insurance.
The slip gave Tulecki lower back injuries requiring surgery, which was then complicated by a post-operative perforated colon, law firm Ginnis & Krathen, who represented Tulecki, said in a press release.
The attorneys said in the lawsuit that he "has in the past and will in the future be obligated to pay large sums of money for doctor bills, hospital bills and other directly and indirectly related expenses."
Seven Restaurants submitted a motion for a new trial on May 19, saying in legal filings that Tulecki's lawyers had presented "virtually no evidence" the company had been aware of the substance on the floor. The awards given to Tulecki for loss of earnings were "clearly excessive," it added.
Lawyers for Tulecki and Seven Restaurants did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, made outside of regular working hours.
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