Decorative Archway Fell & Hit Client in the Head

Our client attended a traditional Chinese wedding at a Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn. As she was eating dinner, a large floral arch which stood at the entrance of the restaurant was bumped by another patron and toppled over, hitting our client in the head. The floral arch was a decorative archway in the shape of a heart, adorned with flowers and lights, which guests walked through when they entered the restaurant. The arch was set up in the restaurant earlier in the evening by an outside florist, who was sued but never appeared in the case. Thus, the case proceeded to trial against the restaurant owner alone.

Even though the restaurant did not construct the arch, Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin Of Counsel, Brielle Goldfaden, was able to show at trial that the restaurant was careless in failing to inspect the arch since the florist who constructed it was a new vendor to the restaurant. Additionally, the restaurant did not inquire about the florist's previous work experience. Brielle also demonstrated that the restaurant placed our client's table too close to the arch. During Brielle's cross examination, the restaurant's manager admitted that the restaurant should have inspected the arch, that an inspection would have been safer for the wedding guests, and that there was no safe pathway to walk around the arch.

The falling arch caused a laceration in our client's scalp as well as leaving her dazed and confused. She was taken by ambulance to a hospital and given stitches, and remained at the hospital two nights for observation. She was working as a cashier at a restaurant before the accident, and was unable to return to work due to her head injury which caused her dizziness, memory loss and concentration difficulties. Our client was treated trying to improve her condition, including undergoing neuropsychological testing which revealed the presence of a mild traumatic brain injury.

During the liability phase of trial, Brielle was able to gain many concessions of the defendant's manager that before the jury deliberated on liability, the case settled for $500,000.

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