On September 21, 2016, a Mobile County, Alabama jury found that Dollar General’s inadequate inspection policies led to a customer’s injuries, and returned a $1,725,000 verdict against the corporation.
The incident occurred at Dollar General Store No. 7853 in Mobile, Alabama on July 9, 2012. Deborah Revette, a customer, slipped and fell in clear, liquid laundry detergent that was on the floor in the chemical aisle. She suffered severe leg and shoulder fractures that resulted in eight surgeries, 395 doctor visits, and over $470,000 in medical bills. She remains permanently disabled.
The evidence showed that while Dollar General stores are open 14 hours a day, their corporate policy only requires employees to devote 10 minutes each day to safety inspections. Those safety inspections are informal, undocumented, and are not verified by a supervisor. Testimony comparing the method by which and how often other retailers in and around Mobile County conduct safety inspections made clear that Dollar General’s informal policy of “visual safety checks” for 10 minutes each day was both unsafe and unacceptable.
“The evidence proved that Dollar General’s safety policies are inadequate and outdated. Our hope is that the jury’s verdict will motivate the company to implement changes that will make its stores safe for all customers. Deborah’s injury was a preventable injury that, unfortunately, has dramatically changed her life,” said Robert L. Mitchell, who tried the case with Lucy E. Tufts, both partners with the law firm of Cunningham Bounds, LLC.