ATLANTA -- Eighty-one-year-old Marilyn Noe said it was the worst thing to happen to her shoulder since she "had some polio in 1945."
Two years ago this month, she was reaching for some Community Coffee in a Buckhead Publix when a large shelf fell on top of her. She said it gave her a concussion, an injured shoulder, and a large gash on her forehead.
"It was awful," Noe said. "I never had anything come crashing down on me...the instant pain, it just jams down on your head."
Noe said she contacted Publix for a month after the accident. She said all she wanted was an apology and a little help with medical expenses, but she only received a form letter in return. That's when she decided to take it to lawyer Keegan Federal. He said Noe, a book collector and former personal assistant to Julian Bond, followed every aspect of the case.
"She even did online research on the experts the other side brought in to testify against us," Federal said. "Don't sell her short."
The jury awarded Noe $65,000. If she chooses to accept the judgment, Federal will get 35 percent. She doesn't have any elaborate plans for spending the money, because she's used to relying on social security checks for her income.
"Well I know that I need new kitchen towels," Noe said. "That's what I've said all along is that I need an alarm clock and new kitchen towels."
When contacted for their side of the story, Publix refused to comment on the judgment. Will Noe stay away from the grocery chain from now on?
"Oh no, I'll be back there this Wednesday," Noe said. "They can't get rid of me that easily."