Slip and Fall Injuries: Ligament Tears in Her Ankle
Our client, a 25 year-old mother of three, was injured when she slipped and fell inside her apartment building. As a result of the accident, she suffered ligament tears in her ankle and could not return to her job as a cashier at K-mart. She claimed that construction dust and an unsafe step on the stairwell caused her fall. The defendants, however, were able to find an emergency room employee who claimed that our client told her she hurt herself when she missed a step at the bottom of the stairwell. During the course of litigation, the defendants repeatedly contended that our client was being dishonest about the location of her accident. In fact, at a mediation only three months before trial, the defendants refused to make any offer of settlement.
Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP took the case to trial. During the investigation of the matter, the firm retained an expert witness who inspected the stairway and determined that it violated the New York City Building Code. Furthermore, he was able to uncover the fact that the defendant landlord had been voted one of the "10 worst landlords in New York City." The firm subpoenaed the landlord to Court for trial testimony. Immediately before the landlord would have been compelled to testify, and despite the fact that the defendants had a witness who would have testified that our client did not fall in the location she testified she did, the defendants settled the case for $235,000 rather than allow the landlord to be cross-examined about his practices as a landlord.