N.C. Appeals Court Sides with Womble Carlyle Client in Personal Injury Defense Case
January 17, 2013
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.—A long-running legal dispute between a shopping center toy store and an allegedly injured shopping center patron may have reached its conclusion.
In January 2013, the North Carolina Court of Appeals agreed with the jury’s 2011 verdict in favor of the defendants. The appeals court affirmed that the shopping center and its toy store tenant were not responsible for the woman’s injuries and dismissed all claims against the defendants.
Womble Carlyle attorneys Cal Adams, Gemma Saluta and Jonathan Reich represented the defendants on the appeal.
In 2009, a woman sued the management company of a North Carolina shopping center, a national toy retailer (which had a store in the shopping center) and a toy store employee. The plaintiff claimed that she was struck in the head by a toy while walking past the store and suffered injuries as a result. The plaintiff initially sought damages of $22 million.
The defendants turned to Womble Carlyle litigation attorneys Rachel Daly, Gemma Saluta and Jennifer Lyday to defend them against the lawsuit. At trial, plaintiff asked the jury to award her $13 million. After a three-week trial in 2011, the jury ruled that the toy store, mall and employee were not responsible for the woman’s injuries, giving the defendants a complete victory.
Cal Adams hastried more than thirty jury trials in state and federal courts. He also has tried numerous non-jury matters, including numerous declaratory judgment trials. His experience includes insurance coverage litigation, large-scale class action cases and managing diet drug product liability litigation.Adams also has experience in construction defect coverage and litigation, directors and officers’ liability coverage and litigation, commercial arbitration, claims arising out of stock purchase agreements, defending claims against insurance agents and brokers, and EMTALA investigations. He practices in Womble Carlyle’s Winston-Salem, N.C., office.
Gemma Saluta defends manufacturers, sellers, distributors and other businesses in product liability litigation. Ms. Saluta’s clients range from small family-owned businesses to global corporations. They also include government entities such as city governments and local boards of education. She has also represented clients in insurance coverage, breach of fiduciary duty, and employment matters. Ms. Saluta practices in Womble Carlyle’s Winston-Salem, N.C., office.
Jonathan Reich’s diverse litigation practice ranges from complex commercial and business litigation, involving fraud and unfair business practices, to defending products liability, construction defect, and catastrophic personal injury cases. He also regularly represents insurers in insurance coverage matters and disputes regarding whether proper coverage was procured. Reich practices in Womble Carlyle’s Winston-Salem, N.C. office.