An employee at the supermarket you manage mopped one of the aisles in the store and placed signs at the ends of the aisle to warn people not to use the aisle until the floor dried. One customer walked around the sign, slipped, fell, and suffered serious injuries. Her lawyer comes to you with the following story. She says that she is going to sue the store for the negligence that led to the customer's injuries. However, she says that she doubts that she can win, since case law in the state makes it clear that the sign is considered a reasonable warning so that contributory negligence by the customer would eliminate the liability of the store. This means that the customer will get nothing, but one can never be completely sure. The worst part is that the customer has no insurance, has incurred large hospital bills, cannot work for several months, and has no source of support.
The lawyer makes the following deal. She will forgo any fee for the case and will sue only for an amount equal to the medical costs incurred and the wages lost, if you will agree to testify that there was no sign in place to warn that the floor was wet. The payment will be made by the insurance company. This will not affect your position with the insurance company, and you will save attorney's fees. Should you make such a deal? What if you knew that the law in most states would provide an award because their laws hold that warning signs are insufficient and a complete physical barrier has to be in place? Discuss the ethical issues.