Jon Pels was hired to represent Mrs. Jean Butterfield, who was seriously injured while shopping for groceries. Fox 5 in Washington DC covered the story. Below is the video and story as it originally appeared on the Fox 5 web site:
98-year-old woman seriously injured by stocking cart at Safeway in Georgetown
Washington — It’s a trip to the grocery store she wishes she had never taken. 98-year-old Jean Butterfield was mowed down by a metal cart used for stocking shelves.
“I sailed through the air,” she said. “Landed on my right hip and my right leg and I couldn’t move. So I screamed.”
The accident happened last May at the Safeway in Georgetown.
We were with Butterfield and her family when they watched the surveillance video for the first time.
“I knew right away that my hip was gone,” said Butterfield. “People my age don’t live through this. If you break a hip, it’s as good as a death sentence.”
But Butterfield has already lasted 98 years. She’s a survivor with an infectious giggle and a positive outlook.
“You have to accept what is in life,” she said.
But it hasn’t been easy. Her hip was broken. Her leg rotated sideways.
“Even now, if I pick up the leg, there goes the foot,” she said.
She now uses a walker and lives in constant fear of falling and in constant guilt.
“I was independent,” Butterfield said. “I did my own shopping. I did my own cooking. I did my own cleaning. I did my own laundry. And I’ve never had help.”
Butterfield can’t put on her own shoes. She needs around-the-clock nursing just to walk to the bathroom.
“I thought I’m going to run out of money. Then what do I do?” she said.
The family has hired attorney Jon Pels.
“Nobody is suggesting this was anything other than an accident,” said Pels.
But he said there was recently another similar accident at a different store in the D.C. area.
“The public does have a right to know about this and that’s sometimes the best medicine here,” he said.
He says businesses need better training. You can see on the video at how high the stocking cart is stacked.
“I just wish that day had never started,” said Butterfield.
We reached out to Safeway. A spokesperson declined our request for an interview. He says they can’t speak about any case that is in litigation.