Suzanne Naruko, 47, of Placentia, was awarded more than $2.8 million in damages in connection with a slip-and-fall accident at the Pechanga Resort and Casino. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, Naruko’s attorneys said the schoolteacher slipped on spilled water while entering the casino in May 2013. The lawsuit said her right foot got tangled with her left leg, causing her to fall hard onto the tile floor. She lost consciousness as her head hit the hard floor. Naruko suffered a concussion in the fall, which is a traumatic brain injury.
Her attorney said Naruko suffered from various symptoms including memory loss, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. She suffers from vertigo as well. Since the accident occurred on tribal land, the case was adjudicated through arbitration rather than a court system. After five days of arbitration, Naruko was awarded $43,000 in past medical expenses, $1.8 million in lost income and benefits, and $1 million in unspecified economic damages.
The Seriousness of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Most of us, when we think about slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents, don’t imagine that it could have serious, life-changing consequences. Naruko’s case illustrates how a slip-and-fall accident can turn your life upside down. Her school’s principal described Naruko as a “gold standard teacher” with more than two decades of experience. Naruko was traumatized by her decision to leave her job because she was unable to perform her duties and held herself to such a high standard. Slip-and-fall accidents do have devastating consequences on individuals, their families, health and careers.
Protecting Your Rights
If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident – be in in a supermarket, casino, movie theater, restaurant or a private property – it is important that you take the steps to protect your legal rights. File a report with the property owner or manager right away and get a copy for your records. Take photographs of the location where you fell, the dangerous condition that caused you to fall, and of your own injuries. Get contact information for eyewitnesses who can corroborate your account of the incident. Secure prompt medical care and treatment for your injuries.
Contact an experienced Orange County slip and fall lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and hold the negligent parties accountable. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to get valuable pieces of evidence including surveillance video to help bolster your case so you get maximum compensation for your significant injuries.