The family of a young girl who died after she was hit by a falling mirror at an Atlanta-area Payless shoe store has filed suit against the store seeking damages of $200 million, reports the AJC. The article reports that, according to the lawsuit, the mirror was hung, unsecured, to a wall. The lawsuit further alleges that the store did not "take any reasonable measures for the security and protection of persons." A jury trial was demanded.
In premises liability cases such as this one, the claimants must prove that the premises owner (in this case, the store) had knowledge of the hazardous condition and failed to take proper steps to make the premises safe. They must also prove that the person injured or killed did not have knowledge of the hazardous condition. Questions regarding the parties' knowledge of the dangerous conditions must generally be decided by a jury, per prior decisions of the Georgia Supreme Court.
Tragic cases involving someone's wrongful death also require a determination of the "full value" of the life of the person killed. Determination of this amount is up to the jury, but attorneys can often offer the jury guidance in helping determine a fair amount. For example, in a case from the past few years involving the death of a young child that was alleged to have been caused by a defective Jeep automobile, the attorney for the child's family suggested to the jury that they should render a verdict of approximately two times the annual salary of the automobile manufacturer's CEO, which it did, returning a verdict of $120 million for the child's life.