Walmart shopper hurt while buying melon wins $7.5M verdict

This Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, photo shows corporate signage at a Walmart in Kissimmee, Fla. Walmart is testing a service that lets a delivery person walk into a customer's home when they're not there to drop off packages or put groceries in the fridge. The retailer says the service is for busy families who don't have time to stop at a store. (AP Photo/Swayne B. Hall)

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama man who said he tripped and broke his hip while buying a watermelon at a Walmart store has won a $7.5 million verdict in his lawsuit against the retailer.

Court records show that Henry Walker on Wednesday was awarded the damages after a jury trial in Phenix City, Alabama.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said Thursday the company believes the damages were excessive, and plans to appeal.

Walker had sued Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in 2015, saying his foot became trapped in a pallet beneath the watermelons as he reached for one.

In a Wednesday court filing, the company said the display wasn’t dangerous.

Charles Gower, one of Walker’s attorneys, tells The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that Walmart should have covered the pallet so it couldn’t entangle a shopper’s foot.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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