A Phenix City, Alabama man who sued Walmart after he broke his hip while trying to pick up a watermelon was awarded $7.5 million by a jury Thursday.
According to court records, Henry Walker visited the Phenix City Walmart in June 2015, reports AL.com. When he tried to get a watermelon in a container, he got his foot stuck in a wooden pallet left on the floor. He fell, breaking his hip and suffering other injuries.
During the trial, one of his attorneys said the watermelon container was on the pallet, so he couldn't see it when he reached in to get one. He got his foot stuck in an opening, but didn't notice that when he turned back to his buggy. That's when he tripped and fell.
His attorney, Shaun O'Hara told AL.com that the jury aw security footage that showed others getting their feet stuck in the same pallet.
Walker sued Walmart for negligence and wantonness, and the jury sided with him on both claims.
The jury awarded Walker, an Army veteran who has to use a walker now, $5 million in punitive damages and $2.5 million in compensatory damages.
"The jury of twelve members of this community certainly thought it was a fair verdict after hearing all of the evidence," O'Hara told AL.com. "This fall completely changed Henry Walker's life as he is no longer able to do everyday activities that many of us take for granted."
According to the Associated Press, Walmart said its display was not dangerous. The company plans to appeal the verdict.