The 10 Biggest Home Depot Lawsuits in History

Home Depot

Home Depot is a giant big-box chain store that sells construction and home improvement materials. The chain owns and operates more than 2,000 retail store locations. It’s a favorite for many home improvement enthusiasts, but some former employees and customers are not very happy with their local stores. Most of the stores stay busy. The business has faced many lawsuits throughout the years. Some of the class action lawsuits were due to negligence of leadership, and others, because of negligent employees at individual stores. Individual personal injury cases and class action lawsuits settled. They required Home Depot to pay the price. Some of the lawsuits are for injuries sustained from slips and falls. Others are for data breaches and discrimination allegations. Many of the Home Depot lawsuits filed and settled became sealed. The information is not accessible. Here are the ten biggest lawsuits we know of for Home Depot.

10. Home Depot sued for child injury Award amount: $101,000

Miller & Zois reports that Home Depot settled a lawsuit filed against them in the state of California. The action claimed that Home Depot was negligent in providing a safe environment for its customers. A little girl was shopping with her father at a California Home Depot Store. She opened the door of a cabinet that was set up for display. When she opened the door, the cabinet fell on top of her, causing injuries. The little girl required medical care. As the result of the injury, she sustained permanent scarring. The scars will be on her body for the rest of her life. The case was settled for $100,000 in damages for the girl. Her father received 1,000 for the emotional pain and suffering he sustained as a witness to the incident and the following suffering of his child.

9. Home Depot sued for icy store entrance injury Award amount: $159,125

In 2011, Home Depot was sued by a 57-year old electrical contractor in New Jersey. He claimed that Home Depot had failed to maintain a safe walking environment for its customers. The man was walking to the entrance of the store when he slipped on a patch of ice and fell to the ground. The fall caused tearing of his quadriceps. He was required to seek medical assistance, and the injury required surgery. Home Depot’s defense argued that the store was not told about any icy conditions and was not under obligation to correct the problem of ice. The defense further claimed that two hours before the incident, the walkway was inspected. The courts ruled in favor of the plaintiff despite the Home Depot defense’s claims that the store was not liable for the ice. The contractor was awarded $159,125 in damages and medical expenses.

8. Home Depot sued for selling faulty equipment Award amount: $425,000

A lawsuit was filed against Home Depot for an injury sustained as the result of faulty equipment. In 2012, a welder was coming down a ladder while completing a job. On his descent, the top rungs of the ladder came apart from the rails. The separation caused him to fall and sustain multiple injuries when he hit the ground. The welder sustained an injury to his rotor cuff, head, and back injuries. The injuries required him to endure two surgeries. The injured party sued Home Depot, where he purchased the ladder, and Tricam, the manufacturer. The courts awarded the Boston, Massachusetts man damages for $425,000

7. .Home Depot sued for injury from falling palm tree Award amount: $624,472.45

In 2013, a 27-year old woman was shopping at a California Home Depot. The customer was a correctional officer. A palm tree that was offered for sale at the store fell over. On the way down it hit her upper back and shoulder. She filed a lawsuit alleging that her injury was a result of Home Depot’s failure to maintain a safe area for its customers and their negligence created dangerous environmental conditions. The plaintiff was required to undergo eighteen months of physical therapy. Doctors advised surgery to correct the injury, but she declined, opting to continue physical therapy, avoiding surgery. Her medical expenses would be extended into the future. The plaintiff further claimed that the injury resulted in her inability to return to work. She asked the court for damages for 1.1 million dollars for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. The defense attorneys for Home Depot argued that the plaintiff did not lose her balance or fall and that they didn’t believe the injury prevented her from working. The case was deliberated by a jury. The jury awarded her $100,000 for future medical costs, $100,000 for lost earnings, and the remainder for pain and suffering due to the negligence of Home Depot.

6. Tennessee driver sued Home Depot for a traffic accident Award amount: $809,241

A 43-year old driver sued Home Depot after an employee of the company, driving a company vehicle crossed the center line and hit the plaintiff in a head-on collision. Physicians confirmed that the collision aggravated a degenerative medical condition and that damage to the C5-6 vertebrae necessitated a fusion surgery. The case was settled in 2012 and the plaintiff was awarded $809,241 in damages by the courts. Home Depot had offered a settlement amount of $200,000 which was rejected, followed by a $500,000 settlement amount, which was also rejected. The courts gave the plaintiff a better deal. Home Depot was found liable for the damages because the incident occurred at the fault of the driver who was an employee of Home Depot, driving a company truck.

5. Home Depot Settles COBRA Notice Claims Award amount: $815,000

Bloomberg Law reports that Home Depot was taken to court in a federal lawsuit that alleged it failed to send proper notifications to workers about their right to stay on the company health plan. The lawsuit was filed in Atlanta, Georgia on the behalf of over 44,000 workers. Home Depot agreed to a settlement amount of $815,000 in the lawsuit that required the company to send payments of $18.44 gross and $10.71 each net. This was a class-action lawsuit that required members to submit claims to receive their payments. Home Depot received any unclaimed money after the settlement deadlines ended.

4. Home Depot Sued for Stocked Cart Injury Award amount: $975,000

A 44-year old New Jersey man was standing near his vehicle in a Home Depot Parking lot in New Jersey. He was waiting for the delivery of a propane tank. A stocked card was dislodged by the wind. The wind sent the cart rolling down a hill. The stocked cart hit the man causing partial fracture of the vertebrae and other back injuries. The victim required medical attention and spinal fusion surgery from the injuries he received as a result of the accident. The injured man filed a lawsuit against Home Depot and the owner of the cart. When the case went to trial, the courts ruled that the cart owner was 20 percent responsible and that Home Depot was 80 percent responsible for the issue. In this case, home Depot paid the lion’s share of the damages, but the owner didn’t get off scot-free.

3. An Oregon man filed a lawsuit against Home Depot Award amount: $4,527,799

The second lawsuit filed against Home Depot and Tricum concluded in 2017 in Oregon. The first known incident occurred in 2012 when a welder fell from a defective ladder. A man from Oregon bought a Husky Brand stepladder. He purchased it at a local Home Depot store. The ladder failed with no warning because of defects in its manufacture. The man sustained injuries from the fall, requiring medical treatment and lost wages. He filed a lawsuit against Home Depot. The plaintiff alleged he could not return to work and perform his usual duties. This case was one of the most expensive personal injury lawsuits of this kind. The case went to a trial jury. The jury decided that Home Depot/Tricam was 70 percent responsible for the injuries and damages caused. The judge made an initial award of more than $4.5 million. Later, the facts surrounding the case got a review from the judge. The information revealed that the plaintiff had prior injuries. The old injuries were unrelated to the incident, and the judge amended the settlement to $1.9 million. Attorneys for the plaintiff failed to show sufficient evidence that the lost wages of the man for the future were all the result of the injuries sustained from the ladder incident. Some other factors came into play to reduce the amount of the award. We see this happen on many occasions.

2. Home Depot sued in Data Breach lawsuit Award amount: $17.5 million

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Home Depot in a class-action suit that included 46 states concerning a data breach that occurred in 2014. A finding of the facts estimated that about 40 million Home Depot customers throughout the nation had their personal information exposed to cybercriminals in the data breach. This breach included information on the payment cards customers used to pay for their purchases. The data breach of 2014 occurred because of vulnerabilities in access to the Home Depot network. Hackers exploited weak spots in the system. Cybercriminals deployed malware that affected the self-checkout point of sale system, exposing the payment cards of all customers using the checkout options during the period between April 10 to September 13, 2014. The incident was a massive data breach. When the issue came to light, it showed Home Depot did not take the necessary security precautions. The company also failed to protect its customers from data loss. The company’s lack of information security cost the business millions in the class-action settlement. Home Depot has since implemented better data security practices as a part of the settlement agreement. The company also agreed to provide training for staff about security precautions. They also hired a Chief Information Security Officer. The person in the position oversees the security of data. Home Depot learned an expensive but valuable lesson about hoping for the best. When it comes to data security, you can’t cut corners, or you’ll lose your customer base. The Office of Consumer Protection takes these matters seriously. They will act swiftly to ensure that the Data Privacy and Consumer Protection laws get fully enforced.

1. Home Depot sued for complaints of lead paint Award amount: $20 Million

Law.com reports that a lawsuit was filed against Home Depot in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia with allegations that an Atlanta, Georgia store mishandled lead paint. The dangers of lead paint are well-known. Contractors working for Home Depot were not certified firms. They committed violations. The contractors got hired to work on homes built when lead-based paint was still in use. Renovation teams were not certified. Nor did they have the training to recognize or prevent the potential hazards of disturbing surfaces treated with lead paint. The complaint lodged against Home Depot resulted in a settlement requiring Home Depot to pay $20 million in the settlement. It’s one of the biggest lawsuits in the history of the company.

Final thoughts

Although Home Depot has been sued on multiple occasions and found at fault in many of the cases, it is still one of the favorite home repair and construction supply stores of millions of Americans. Not all Home Depot stores are negligent, and many of its managers do their level best to run the operations smoothly and efficiently, putting the customers as their top priorities. It’s unfortunate when somebody drops the ball, but that’s just a part of being human. Some of the mistakes can cost others for the rest of their lives. Home Depot has been at the center of other legal actions. Numerous lawsuits were filed against Home Depot, settled privately, and sealed. Those are cases we will never hear about through confidential agreements not to talk about them nor disclose information about the proceedings. Home Depot has learned many lessons about observing the local laws and taking every possible measure to ensure a safe and fair environment for employees and customers.

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