Thursday, June 14, 2012 | 4:44 p.m.
CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court has overturned a $3.5 million judgment awarded a woman who suffered back injuries when she slipped and fell in a Las Vegas restaurant.
The court directed the case be returned to District Court Judge Timothy Williams for further hearings in the suit brought by Debbie Giglio against Carmine’s Little Italy restaurant and its owners, the Vento family.
Giglio was on her way to the bathroom when she slipped and fell in June 2004. She suffered injures that led to $400,000 in medical expenses. She maintained she slipped on a greasy or oily substance on the floor.
The court said Williams properly excluded from the testimony that Giglio had back problems prior to the accident but in the distant past. The court said he also was correct in not allowing evidence of the amount of alcohol Giglio consumed before the accident.
But the court said it was wrong for Williams to give a “mode of operation” instruction to the jury. It said the instruction would apply to a self-service restaurant where a dangerous condition might be foreseeable.
Little Italy is a sit-down restaurant, and employees testified they did not see any slippery substance on the floor. The restaurant has a video surveillance system, but it was not working that night.