Pourciau v. Wings Three La, d/b/a Buffalo Wild Wings

U&M Zeros Plaintiff at Trial

Plaintiff Steve W. Pourciau claims that he was injured when he allegedly slipped while attempting to step on the top rung of a service ladder attached to the rear outside wall of the commercial building which houses the insured’s business and several other businesses. The claim is that cooking oil allegedly was spilled or splattered on the ground around the base of the ladder by employees of the insured. Plaintiff sustained a severe comminuted fracture of the right calcaneus (foot and ankle) and alleged disc herniation at L-5, S-1. In addition to general damages for the heel and back, plaintiff alleged $109,000 in lost wages, $62,865.22 in medical expenses and $30,000 for Mrs. Pourciau’s loss of consortium claim.

Plaintiff counsel’s closing went 85 minutes and he asked for almost $800,000. Emile Bagneris, III gave our closing. The gist of the argument was that every accident is not necessarily someone’s fault, and Mr. Pourciau did not carry his burden of proving that Buffalo Wild Wings caused his accident. The accident was more likely due to his own inattention. Some of the jurors told us afterwards that they wanted to give Pourciau some money for his medical expenses, and that accounted for the delay in arriving at a verdict. However, they could not figure out a way to give him money given the lack of liability, so they eventually just returned a no liability verdict form. The jury returned a defense verdict, finding that plaintiff had failed to prove Buffalo Wild Wings caused the fall in question.

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