Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro and Halperin, LLP partner Frank J. Lombardo obtained a settlement in the amount of $1,450,000.00 during jury selection in Supreme Court, Nassau County for a 57-year-old mattress salesman.
After exiting his car, the plaintiff walked towards his employer’s store when he slipped on a layer of snow and ice and fell backward. Then the plaintiff got up and attempted to walk, but fell a second time onto his hands and knees.
Three days prior to the incident, it had snowed 10-11 inches and the owner of the parking lot had a snow removal company plow and sand the day after the storm. There had been no further snow removal services until after the plaintiff’s accident.
The plaintiff sustained a cervical spine herniated disc, bi-lateral shoulder tears, and an ulnar nerve, each of which required surgical intervention. In addition, the plaintiff had to receive bilateral knee replacements.
The defense argued that there was a reported frozen rainstorm at the time of the accident – claiming that the storm caused the accident and not the unkept parking lot – and that the plaintiff had prior injuries and had received medical treatment to the same body parts that were injured in the accident. Additionally, the defendants asserted that the plaintiff had received recommendations to have the cervical spine and knee replacement surgeries 5-10 years prior to the accident. In an attempt to discredit our client’s injuries, the defendants also obtained approximately 20 hours of video surveillance of the plaintiff performing normal and ordinary daily activities.
We countered these arguments by explaining to the jury that: (1) at the time of the accident, the plaintiff slipped on days-old dirty snow that was covering refrozen ice; (2) at the time of the accident, the frozen rain had not reached the parking lot; and (3) the plaintiff’s prior conditions made him more susceptible to additional injuries and the accident aggravated the pre-existing conditions.