Premises Liability - Sidewalk Trip and Fall

WRSMH Of Counsel, Brielle Goldfaden obtained a settlement for a 73 year old woman who tripped and fell in a hole in the sidewalk in her neighborhood. Our client was walking home from church one afternoon when she tripped in the hole in the sidewalk in front of a building in East Harlem and fell onto her knees. As a result of her fall, she injured both of her knees which required arthroscopy surgeries.

The defendants moved to dismiss the case arguing that the building was vacant and undergoing renovations, and since none of their employees worked at the building regularly they couldn’t have known about the hole. However, we defeated the defendant’s argument by showing that there was plant growth in the hole indicating it was long standing defect and that the defendant did not make proper inspections of their property. After defeating the defendant’s motion to dismiss, the parties proceeded to private mediation where the defendant offered $150,000 to settle. We rejected the offer and Brielle was able to negotiate a settlement the next day for $250,000. Had the case not settled, it would have gone to trial within months due to our client’s age and her entitlement to a special trial preference.

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