Our client, who was 76 years old at the time of the accident, was a regular visitor to her neighborhood supermarket and was injured when she tripped over a display stand in one of the aisles. The stand, which resembled a small stool, was used to stack cartons of items for display and sale purposes. A dangerous condition was created when the items were all removed from the stand, leaving it poorly positioned in the aisle as a tripping hazard. The defendant claimed there was no empty stool at the location, and even if there was, it was out in the open and should have been seen by our client.
Although a worker in the store who was present at the time of the fall testified at his deposition that there was no stool or stand in the area, Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin partner Bill Hepner convinced the insurance carrier that when push came to shove, he would be able to convince a jury that our client's version of events was more accurate. He also convinced the insurance adjuster that the defendant's attorney would look foolish taking the position that a small stand, sitting off to the side, but still in the path of where customers walk, was not something over which a person could trip.
As a result of the accident, our client suffered a fractured femur and underwent a hip replacement surgery. The case settled at mediation, at least 8 months prior to trial, shortly before our client's 80th birthday.