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Jury Awards $250K for Injuries suffered in incident at Arby’s

A Mecklenburg County jury unanimously returned a verdict of $250,325 in favor of Jean Tarry for permanent injuries she suffered in an incident occurring on March 24, 2012 inside a local Arby’s. The case was heard by Judge William Constangy.

Ms. Tarry, a citizen of Canada and World War 2 veteran, was traveling with her family through North Carolina on her way home from a Florida vacation. The family stopped for gas and food at the Arby’s located on WT Harris Boulevard in Charlotte. Ms. Tarry walked inside the building and down a hallway toward the restrooms, as she turned a blind corner into the narrow hallway, the men’s room door — which was hinged just around the corner and opened into the hallway — slung open and knocked Ms. Tarry into the wall and to the floor. She suffered serious hip and elbow fractures that required extensive surgeries and joint replacement. Ms Tarry, who had been an avid swimmer and walker before the incident, is now wheel chair bound for the rest of her life. The store manager told the family that the door had hit her in the past and was “a problem,” yet no signs or warnings had been placed in the hallway to the restrooms.

The lawsuit alleged that the defendants were aware or should have been aware that men’s restroom door, which swung outward into the narrow hallway just around a blind corner, was dangerous and customers should be warned.

Ms. Tarry was represented by Hunt Willis and Forest Horne of the Raleigh-based law firm Martin & Jones, PLLC. The highest offer before trial was $35,000. Ms. Tarry’s medical bills were around $80,000.

Hunt Willis, one of Ms. Tarry’s attorneys said, “Before her injuries, Jean Tarry, a member of the 1936 Canadian National swim team, and a Word War 2 veteran who drove ambulances in London during the war, was enjoying her life and spending time with her family. She swam laps several times a week and walked daily. After her injuries, she will be wheelchair bound for the remainder of her life. This corner was a hazard, and Ms. Tarry, as well as other customers, should have been warned about the danger.”

The recovery will go to pay for Ms. Tarry’s medical care.

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“We would like to express our gratitude to you (Hunt Willis) for accepting our case. First of all, when I called this law firm, a very sweet and kind lady answered the telephone and gave me assurance by asking and going over the accident with me, while my husband was in the hospital. I felt assured I was doing the right thing for us. She was so helpful in so many ways. What a professional lady. Secondly, we are much pleased that you have settled this case with the insurance company to receive the proper amount to assist us in so many ways. My husband and I are very happy with you and the firm in handling our case. You made us have confidence in your professional and integrity along with your assistant Ms. Routh, when you both came to see us in our home, in which we saw your compassion and thoughtfulness at that time. We will never forget what you have done for us, and we thank the lord for directing me to contact this firm. I’m glad I did.” 

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