Student advocates from the West Virginia University College of Law recently competed in the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County’s 52nd Annual Mock Trial Competition in Pittsburgh, PA.
This year’s case involved a slip-and-fall at an Eat-N-Park restaurant. The Plaintiff fell on the wet tile floor in the lobby area of the restaurant, fracturing her knee. The injury required hospitalization and surgery. Together, the Plaintiff’s medical bills totaled $16,000.00. The Plaintiff alleged that Defendant, Eat-N-Park Hospitality Group, was negligent in failing to maintain a safe floor for its patrons and failing to install a type of flooring that lessened the risk of injury.
Although the Defendant admitted that the fall occurred, it alleged that it was not negligent and responsible for the Plaintiff’s injuries. The Defendant contended that it had a regular maintenance program and that it was inevitable that customers would track water into the restaurant, causing the floor to become wet. The Defendant further alleged that it had a conspicuous yellow warning cone in a visible area.
WVU represented the Plaintiff and went up against student advocates from Duquesne University, who represented the Defendant. Duquesne University has won this particular competition on many prior occasions and is recognized as one of the top mock trial competition teams in the country. The case was presided over by Maureen P. Kelly, Chief Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
After consideration of the evidence presented and hearing arguments from the student advocates, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff and awarded $75,000.00 in damages, more than 4 ½ times the medical expenses. The verdict was a huge victory for the student advocates and WVU.
Attorney Jared T. Moore was one of two coaches for WVU’s team.