Client Tripped and Fell in a Restaurant in New York
Our client, a 62 year old woman from Alabama, was injured in a national restaurant while visiting her son for her birthday. She was injured when she tripped and fell over a door saddle while walking to her table for dinner. As a result of the accident, our client suffered a bi-malleolar fracture and underwent two surgeries on her ankle.
The defendants contended that the restaurant was safe and that the door saddle was not in a dangerous condition. They hired an expert who opined that the door saddle was completely safe and it did not constitute a trip hazard as defined by New York law. Furthermore, that our client was the cause of the accident. Specifically, they claimed that she fell because of her pre-existing diabetic neuropathy that prevented her from fully using her feet.
Wingate Russotti Shapiro & Halperin partner William Hepner, hired an expert engineer who examined the area only days after the accident and found that the door saddle violated generally accepted engineering principles. Additionally, he was able to locate a witness who saw the accident and stated that the door saddle was partially covered by a rug at the time of the accident. These two witnesses were critical to proving our case because the restaurant was completely renovated six months after the accident. As a result of these two witnesses’ affidavits, the defendant’s motion for summary judgment was denied.
At a mediation only two weeks before trial, the defendants offered $200,000 to settle the case. After turning down the offer of settlement the matter was supposed to proceed to trial. On the day of trial, in order to avoid having a jury determine whether the defendants were negligent, the defendants offered an additional $125,000 and the case settled for $325,000.