DOUGLASVILLE, Ga., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A Georgia court awarded $2.3 million in damages to a customer who slipped and fell at a Kroger grocery store that destroyed evidence, authorities say.
In May 2008, Craig Walters, 49, slipped on crushed fruit on the Douglasville store's floor and fell, sustaining serious damage to his spinal cord. Walters, who had previously been a commercial landscaper, was rendered unable to work as his medical bills climbed to about $135,000.
Kroger's lawyers alleged surveillance video of the incident was unavailable, not only because tapes are held no longer than 17 days, but because, they said, there was no camera pointing to the area where Walters fell. Walters' lawyers asked for a demonstration of the surveillance system and found a camera did indeed point to the exact spot, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
A judge sanctioned Kroger for destroying evidence and determined the company was negligent.
Company spokeswoman Glynn Jenkins told the Journal-Constitution: "The safety of our customers is important to Kroger. We are sorry that Mr. Walters had an unfortunate experience at one of our stores. However, we disagree with some of the decisions made in the recent trial and are currently evaluating our future course of action."