$9.9M to Costco Shopper for Out-of-Control Shopping Cart
A Costco customer whose shopping cart got away from the escalator and fell on her won a $9.9 million jury award.
Rose Nudelman, 52, was shopping with her husband in 2009 at the Brooklyn Costco outlet when she put the loaded cart onto the up escalator which was equipped with a mechanism to lock the cart in place so customers don’t have to hold their carts on the way up.
Suddenly, the cart came loose and barreled toward her, according to her lawsuit against the bulk retailer.
“Suddenly, something caught my attention and when I looked towards the shopping cart, I saw that it was coming towards me quickly,” her lawsuit alleged. “The shopping cart struck me with force.”
According to her attorney, Michael Ronemus, Nudelman did not immediately experience injuries and filed a complaint with the store and left.
But later, she developed a rare neurological condition known as “complex regional pain syndrome,” her lawsuit alleged.
At trial, Ronemus played the jury before and after videotape of Nudelman who had just gotten married two weeks before the accident. After the incident, she was forced to hobble around on a cane.
Costco argued at trial that Nudelman may have suffered some injury from the cart but had exaggerated how bad it was in order to cash in on a lawsuit.
The federal jury, however, believed Nudelman and awarded her a whopping verdict of nearly $10 million for her medical bills and pain and suffering.
Costco attorneys said they will appeal.
Ronemus said despite the huge award, “There is no one you or I know who would change places with Ms. Nudelman for any amount of money.”