A South Carolina woman was awarded more than $4.6 million after she was punctured by a needle in a Target parking lot.
The attorney representing Carla Denise Garrison originally offered to settle the lawsuit for $12,000, but Target Corp. declined the offer, according to USA Today.
The incident occurred in May 2014. Garrison was in the parking lot of the Target store in Anderson with her 8-year-old daughter. When her daughter picked up a hypodermic needle, Garrison slapped it out of her hand. The needle got stuck in Garrison’s palm as a result.
She was treated at a nearby clinic where she tested negative for HIV and hepatitis. Doctors prescribed her medication in case she developed HIV in the near future.
Garrison said the HIV medication made her ill. She was confined to bed and her husband had to take time off work to look after her.
“When we started this, we were just trying to get Target to make my client whole, to pay for her medical bills and the time that her husband had to take off work,” Garrison’s lawyer, Joshua Hawkins, told USA Today. “We tried to be reasonable and not take this to trial. But Target took a really hard stance on it … and I think the jury sent a message.”
Target representative Erika Winkels said the company is not satisfied with the result and is now exploring its post-trial options.
“The final damages award has not yet been determined by the Court,” she wrote in an email. “Target is currently considering post-trial motions and appeal options.”
Target’s attorney, Knox Haynsworth III, disagreed with the jury’s verdict.
“A merchant is not an insurer of the safety of his customer but owes only the duty of exercising ordinary care to keep the premises in reasonably safe condition,” he wrote, according to Newsmax.
When asked by USA Today to comment on the outcome of her case, Garrison said that she was “too overwhelmed” to talk about it.