State Supreme Court Upholds $10M Award To Trucker

Holly Averyt Slipped On Ice, Grease At Walmart

The Colorado Supreme Court has upheld a $10 million award to a truck driver who said she slipped and fell on ice and grease while making a delivery to a Walmart in Greeley.

Walmart had appealed the award for 41-year-old Holly Averyt of Cheyenne that was awarded by a jury last year. The jury awarded her $15 million, but the amount was reduced because of a state cap on non-economic damages.

The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday overturned a ruling granting Walmart a new trial.

Averyt's lawyer, Denver attorney Gregory Gold, thinks the reward could be one of the highest slip-and-fall verdicts in the country.

Gold presented city documents showing that some grease from the store's deli didn't get trapped in a device designed to keep it from getting into the sewer. He argued that the overflow caused a 185-foot slick of grease into the parking lot and the truck ramp area, which accumulated for seven days.

He said since the December 2007 accident, Averyt had to undergo three spine surgeries -- one on her neck and two on her back. He told the Greeley Tribune newspaper that Averyt was unable to return to work, had the truck she lived in repossessed and incurred about $500,000 in medical bills.

"We respectfully disagree with the court's opinion," Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said. "We're continuing to focus on operating a safe shopping and working environment in all our stores."

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