A Florida court has ordered a Burger King franchise to pay nearly $8 million to a customer who allegedly slipped and injured his back at the restaurant.
Richard Tulecki, 48, suffered “serious injuries” in 2019 after he slipped on a “wet foreign substance” and fell inside the bathroom at a Burger King in Hollywood, Florida, court documents show. Those injuries required surgery, which left Tulecki with a post-operative perforated colon, Ginnis & Krathen, the law firm that represents Tulecki, said in a statement.
A jury sided with Tulecki earlier this month, awarding him $7.81 million in damages, including $3.35 million for lost earnings and $700,000 for medical expenses. The court later reduced the amount to $7.68 million to account for medical expenses Tulecki’s insurance had already covered.
As a result of the injuries, Tulecki was forced to stop working, hurting him financially and emotionally. Working was “a major part of his identity,” his attorneys told CBS MoneyWatch.
The settlement will help pay the medical bills for treating Tulecki’s back injuries, they added.
Seven Restaurants, the franchise’s operator, filed a motion for a new trial, alleging that Tulecki’s lawyers presented “virtually no evidence” that the restaurant’s management had been apprised of the bathroom floor’s slippery conditions. Neither Seven Restaurants nor Burger King was immediately available for comment.
A family successfully sued a Florida McDonald’s earlier this month, alleging a scalding hot chicken nugget from the restaurant gave their 4-year-old daughter second-degree burns.