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$202,000 Verdict – customer slips on grease at Wendy’s (Key West)

Fast food restaurants have proliferated throughout the country.  One of the byproducts of these restaurants are the garbage and trash they produce.  When they are done with things like cooking oil from their fryers, they must properly dispose of it.  In this case their failure to do that caused serious injuries to a local Key West citizen.

John Elliott Leighton represented the Bernreuter family in a case against the Wendy’s restaurant in Key West.  Mrs. Bernreuter was walking out of the Wendy’s when she sipped and fell on grease that had leaked from a bucket that was supposed to dispose of the grease.  Wendy’s denied responsibility and claimed that the substance was not theirs. The defense by the Wendy’s management was that it was not grease (tests proved it was), and that if it was grease it could have come from anywhere.  It was just a “coincidence” that it was in a dripped line from the restaurant to the dumpster where the grease is disposed of.

The defenses were soundly rejected by the Key West jury.  Mr. Leighton tried the case and obtained a $202,000 jury verdict for our client, who had sustained a fractured arm. Bernreuter v. E & A Restaurants of the Keys (Monroe County Circuit Court).

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