Premises Liability - Trip and Fall Injury

WRSMH attorney, Cliff Shapiro and Of Counsel, Brielle Goldfaden obtained a settlement for a 54-year-old nurse who tripped and fell on an uneven sidewalk in her neighborhood.

The accident happened after dark, at 11:30pm, while our client was walking home from her car which she parked around the corner from her house. As she was walking on a sidewalk adjacent to a nursing home, her foot landed on an uneven portion of the sidewalk which she did not see, causing her to fall forward to the ground.

We argued that the sidewalk was not kept safe and that the defendant was liable for the accident under the Administrative Code of the City of New York, section 7-210. Brielle, who handled the case during the discovery phase, took the depositions of multiple defense witnesses, one of whom had worked for the building for many years. Through his testimony, Brielle was able to establish that the unevenness of this particular sidewalk was present for many years prior to the plaintiff’s accident and that the owner of the nursing home did nothing to try to fix it.

As a result of her fall, our client sustained a herniated disc that required surgery, as well as wrist and ankle injuries that required arthroscopic surgery. The plaintiff’s injuries were complicated by the fact that she had four subsequent accidents at her workplace which, the defendant argued, were the true cause of her problems. Thus, a jury trial could have resulted in the plaintiff recovering nothing if a jury believed the defendant’s position. Despite this, we were able to obtain a significant recovery for our client.

Cliff and Brielle attended a private mediation, at which time the defendant offered only $500,000.00 to settle the case. The plaintiff rejected this offer and about two weeks later, Cliff was able to negotiate a settlement for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering in the amount of $1,200,000.00.

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