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Family of boy injured at N.C. Home Depot given $500,000

The family of a boy who sustained brain damage at a Home Depot store when a steel-and-glass door fell on him was awarded $500,000 by a jury Wednesday.

The plaintiffs had sought $20-million for medical bills, physical pain and mental anguish.

Jurors deliberated more than four days before deciding on the award for James and Martha Baker, parents of Will Baker. Will was 8 years old when the 154-pound, 8-foot-tall door fell on him in March 2001.

Evidence showed that Will had been playing with door displays in the store.

Lawyer Richard Watson argued that Home Depot showed "overwhelming" negligence by not properly attaching the door, not inspecting it and allowing it to remain in a dangerous condition for 40 months before it injured Baker.

Defense lawyers Dan Hartzog and Lewis Cheek argued that Atlanta-based Home Depot was not negligent and that Will had learning disabilities even before the accident.

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