Food Lion Case Ties for Largest Verdict in Gloucester: $5,000,000

THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT REQUIRE ALL ATTORNEYS TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT AND DISCLAIMER TO THEIR CASE RESULTS.

SETTLEMENTS AND VERDICTS IN ALL CASES DEPEND ON VARIOUS FACTORS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH ARE UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. THEREFORE, PAST RESULTS IN CASES ARE NOT A GUARANTEE OR PREDICTION OF SIMILAR RESULTS IN FUTURE CASES WHICH THE ALLEN LAW FIRM AND ITS LAWYERS MAY UNDERTAKE.

Attorney: P. Christopher Guedri

Case Type: Premises Liability / Traumatic Brain Injury

Virginia personal injury lawyer Christopher Guedri represented Ella Cousins, who was a 64 year old gainfully employed college graduate and a long time resident of Gloucester County. On August 11, 2006 she was shopping at the Food Lion in the Gloucester Courthouse area. While pushing her shopping cart down the main aisle, she was struck by a stock cart of freight being pushed in her direction by a Food Lion employee.

The collision knocked her to the ground and she struck her head on the concrete floor. She developed a large subdural hematoma and sustained a massive traumatic brain injury. Ms. Cousins was left with profound cognitive and intellectual loss to a degree that she by all accounts needs 24 hour care and supervision around the clock. For the last six and a half years this care has been provided by her daughter and granddaughter because the family could not afford the $200,000 annual cost of professional assistance.

This college educated woman who experts testified had normal intelligence prior to the accident now has an IQ of 69 and is profoundly impaired in all realms of cognitive function.

The case was initially tried in January 2010. Food Lion admitted that it’s employee was negligent but asserted that Ms. Cousins should have seen the cart and gotten out of the way and claimed therefore that she had contributory negligence. The trial resulted in a defense verdict with the jury concluding that she was in part responsible for the accident.

Mr. Guedri appealed the case to the Virginia Supreme Court and a writ was granted. The Supreme Court of Virginia reversed the cases and remanded it for a new trial.

The retrial was held in Gloucester County January 29 – 31, 2013 and resulted in a $5,000,000 verdict in favor of Ms. Cousins. This is believed to tie the largest jury verdict of any case tried in this county.

Chris Guedri (LinkedIn) is an experienced personal injury lawyer with the law firm of Allen & Allen. He has handled complicated premises liability cases, bus accident cases, tractor trailer accident cases and brain injury cases across Virginia and the United States. In a career spanning over 30 years, he has been recognized by his peers as a superb litigator, Chris has been listed in the book Best Lawyers in America since 1997 and is ranked in Virginia Super Lawyers. He is AV Peer Rated by Martindale Hubbell. More recently, he was inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an organization of attorneys who are elected to membership based on their reputation for excellence.