READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY:
As I mentioned earlier in the day to you via telephone call, one of our insured, Kowalski’s Supermarket, has apparently been served with a civil complaint by one of its customers, known to us at this time only as “Maria” (we’ll get more details after the weekend from Mr. Kowalski), who is apparently a regular shopper at the store. The complaint against Kowalski’s centers around a recent shopping trip Maria made to the store, during which she asked for a particular product (a breakfast cereal) that was out of stock on the shelves. She expressed her dismay in a somewhat bothered fashion to Kowalski, who in turn immediately asked one of his employees, a stockboy by the name of Billy, to go to the rear stockroom to try to find a box of the product to bring back into the main retail space to give her.
Billy took some undetermined amount of time to undertake a careful search for the product in the stockroom, which was apparently excessive for Maria. Ignoring warning signs on the stockroom doors which clearly indicated the space was for employees only, she pushed her shopping cart into the stockroom and confronted Billy verbally about the delay at that point. Maria saw the product for which she was looking in a nearby part of the stockroom and went to retrieve it, only to injure her ankle in a fall during her attempt to recover a box of it. Billy rushed to provide aid since it appeared Maria had been severely enough injured to be unable to stand or walk; she is claiming, however, that both the initial fall and Billy’s subsequent aid were both factors in her final injury. As a result of the injury, the complaint alleges, Maria was unable to go to a job interview she had immediately after the shopping trip and she subsequently lost that opportunity along with its appreciable fixed annual salary; she was also unable to return to her current employment as an aerobics instructor on an hourly rate at a nearby health club for a period of two months thereafter, and claims damages for loss of work, medical expenses and pain and suffering.
I have been summoned to a meeting with representatives from Claims and Legal tomorrow, and although one of our attorneys will be there, I need to know the following ASAP so I may make a responsible recommendation about whether we should attempt to settle this matter or proceed to go to court with it (under our subrogation agreement with Kowalski’s, our company will defend Kowalski’s in court since it’s our money that will pay the plaintiff if she is successful on any claim). I need to know, specifically, (A) what tort claims plaintiff Maria may have against us, (B) what the legal elements of those claims are, and whether they’re intentional or negligent acts, (C) any legal defenses we have to those claims and (D) any counterclaims we may have against Maria to offset any potential liabilities Kowalski’s may have in this matter.