Westmoreland judge awards Allegheny Township woman $600K in slip-fall case
An Allegheny Township woman has been awarded $600,000 for injuries she suffered two years ago outside of a township mini-mart.
Following a two-day trial, a Westmoreland County jury ordered Graft Oil of Oci Inc., the owners of the Honey Bear Mini-Mart on Route 356 in Allegheny Township, to pay for damages incurred by Roswitha M. DeToma.
DeToma slipped on black ice after she bought scratch-off lottery tickets in the store on Feb. 4, 2017.
The jury issued a $950,000 verdict in favor of DeToma, but a previous agreement capped the award at $600,000.
Lawyers for the store admitted to liability for DeToma’s injuries prior to the trial, meaning jurors were only asked to decide on the damages she was to receive.
According to a court order filed Thursday, Scherer said the parties agreed before the jury verdict was announced that DeToma would receive an award of no less than $200,000 and no more than $600,000. As a result of that agreement, the judge announced the judgment in favor of DeToma for $600,000.
“She was really happy,” attorney Brendan B. Lupetin said on behalf of DeToma. “This was a matter of principle more than the money for Rose. She was seriously injured by the negligence of this company.”
Lupetin said DeToma, 70, sustained spinal injuries that required major fusion surgery, and she walks with the help of a cane. DeToma continues to be in pain, and the injury is expected to impact her for the rest of her life, according to Lupetin.
DeToma contended water dripped off the store’s roof and froze on the ground where she parked
According to court records, attorneys for the store argued there was no precipitation on the ground from weather conditions; DeToma left her car in a no-parking area; and that store employees were not aware there was ice on the sidewalk.
Correction: An earlier version of the healdine on this story had the incorrect amount of money awarded.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .