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Plaintiff: Falling box at Wal-Mart caused neck injury








Dallas County


Dallas County District Court, 162nd

Injury Type(s):

head; neck; neck-fusion, cervical;
neck-disc protrusion, cervical;
other-massage therapy; other-physical therapy; other-epidural injections; other-aggravation of pre-existing condition

Case Type:

Premises Liability – Store, Dangerous Condition

Case Name:

Dawn Bishop v. Wal-Mart Stores Texas LLC,
No. DC14-00763


March 4, 2016



Dawn Bishop (Female, 62 Years)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

Daryoush Toofanian;
Rad Law Firm;
Dawn Bishop

Plaintiff Expert(s):

James Stanley; M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; Dallas,
TX called by:
Daryoush Toofanian


Wal-Mart Stores Texas LLC

Defense Attorney(s):

Steven J. Moses;
Cowles & Thompson;
Wal-Mart Stores Texas LLC ■ Stuart B. O’Neil;
Cowles & Thompson;
Wal-Mart Stores Texas LLC

Defendant Expert(s):

R. Peeples;
Orthopedic Surgery;
Little Rock,
AR called by:
Steven J. Moses, Stuart B. O’Neil


On July 7, 2012, plaintiff Dawn Bishop, 62, a college administrator, was shopping at a Wal-Mart in Farmers Branch, when a box on a shelf fell and struck her on the head. She claimed a neck injury. Bishop alleged that a store employee, who was on the other side of the shelf stocking merchandise, agitated the shelf, which caused a 2-pound cakesicle box to fall approximately 2 feet onto her head. Bishop sued Wal-Mart, alleging that the employee was negligent for causing the box to fall from the shelf and strike her. Bishop testified that she did not touch the shelf and that the only way that the box could have fallen was from the store employee agitating the shelf. There was no surveillance footage of the incident. The defense maintained that there was no evidence that the employee agitated the shelf. The employee testified that he did not agitate the shelf.


Bishop, experiencing head and neck pain, presented to an urgent-care facility that evening, and then returned the following day. Bishop followed up with her primary care physician, who initially prescribed pain medication and then a course of physical therapy, which included massage therapy. She underwent an X-ray of her cervical spine which was negative. Bishop was referred to a pain management specialist, who administered a series of injections, and in January 2013, she underwent an MRI which showed a 2-millimeter protrusion at C3-4. Bishop continued treating with physical therapy and epidural injections through September, at which time she underwent a cervical fusion. Bishop further treated with physical therapy, which she continued intermittently at the time of trial, in addition to following up with her surgeon. She sought $693,484.52 in outstanding medical costs. Bishop’s orthopedic surgeon causally related her injury and treatment to the accident and detailed the mechanism of injury. Bishop testified that she is functional and works full time; however, she continues to experience neck pain, which causes difficulty in performing certain activities of daily living. She sought damages for past and future physical pain and mental anguish and past and future physical impairment. The defense argued that the weight of the box could not have caused the injury. Wal-Mart’s expert in orthopedic surgery, who performed a records review, opined that Bishop’s condition was due to a pre-existing condition which resulted in the fusion.


The jury found that the negligence of Wal-Mart caused Bishop’s accident. She was awarded $1,393,484.52.

Dawn Bishop: $693,485 Personal Injury: Past Medical Cost; $175,000 Personal Injury: Past Physical Impairment; $250,000 Personal Injury: Future Physical Impairment; $150,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering; $125,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain And Suffering

Trial Information:


Phyllis Lister Brown

Post Trial:

The case is on appeal.

Editor’s Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel.