Jury renders verdict in favor of woman in Kroger lawsuit for $2.7 million

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — UPDATE: Lawyers say the woman involved with this lawsuit has been awarded $2.7 million.

A statement explained, "that a jury rendered a verdict today in favor of Mrs. Wortham, 91 years old now, and against Kroger for $2.7 million."

An 89-year-old woman who was injured at a Memphis Kroger is suing the grocery store chain, claiming Kroger failed to keep its store safe.

Zula Wortham, the plaintiff, said a wheel popped off the shopping cart she was using “without warning.”

Wortham injured her knee, and had to have surgery on her hip, according to the complaint, which was filed in Shelby County Circuit Court on July 26. She’s seeking up to $500,000 in compensation for her medical bills and other damages related to the incident.

The incident happened on August 25, 2016 at the Kroger on the 1200 block of East Shelby Drive, according to the complaint.

Kroger declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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“This is a pending lawsuit and we will work with Ms. Wortham’s attorney moving forward,” Teresa Dickerson, Kroger’s spokesperson said.

FOX13 also asked Kroger’s spokesperson whether carts are regularly inspected. Dickerson did not answer questions related to shopping cart safety.

Gwendova Cooks, a Kroger shopper, said she thinks Kroger should pay for the 89-year-old’s injuries.

“You hear this Kroger? Let's send somebody out to help that sister,” Cooks said. “She needs it. She’s 80-something years old. How about if that was your mother?”

Cooks added that she expects shopping carts to be safe for her family.

“I put my kids in the cart,” Cooks said. “Maybe they should get some of the guys that work for them to keep an eye on the carts, to check them out.”

Wortham declined to comment when a FOX13 reported visited her home. Wortham’s attorney, Geoffrey Gaia, was out of town Monday, and unable to speak on camera.

The lawsuit claims Kroger failed to “maintain the premises in a reasonable and safe condition.” Wortham said in the complaint that Kroger failed to “inspect the shopping carts in a timely manner,” and the store failed to “warn patrons of the dangerous condition,” among other allegations.

"It's a responsibility," Jodi Lott, another Kroger shopper, said. "They have to make sure these carts are in good shape."

Lott added that older shoppers like herself rely on the shopping carts for support.

“I’m very clumsy,” Lott said. “If I don’t have something to hang onto, I fall.”

Shoppers offered their support to Wortham.

“I wouldn’t want my mom to get hurt  like that,” Cooks said.