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Tag Archives: trip and fall

$450,000 Settlement — Senior Citizen Injured in Trip and Fall While Exiting Bus

New York – This 70-year-old man suffered a trip and fall accident while stepping out of a city transit bus in Manhattan. The bus accident victim and a witness explained that the bus stopped in an unsafe location, causing him to fall and injure his shoulder and elbow, including fractured bones. The injury victim sought compensation for his injuries as well as his significant pain and suffering. Together with the accident attorneys at Morrison & Wagner the man sued for negligence and received a settlement of $450,000 from the bus company defendants.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Chris Sampson [License]

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Bus’s rider claimed he was discharged in a dangerous spot (VerdictSearch.com by Priya Idiculla)

Settlement: $450,000

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Court: New York Supreme, New York County, NY

Injury Type(s): arthroplasty; decreased range of motion; fracture, elbow; fracture, humerus; fracture, radial head; fracture, shoulder; internal fixation; open reduction; physical therapy

Case Type: Transportation — Bus — Slips, Trips & Falls — Trip and Fall — Government

Date: December 12, 2016

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY

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Facts & Allegations:
On April 1, 2013, the plaintiff, 70, was a passenger of a transit bus that was traveling on East 60th Street, near its intersection at Second Avenue, in Manhattan. Moments after the bus had cleared the intersection, it driver stopped at a designated stop. While the plaintiff was exiting the bus, he tripped on a tree well’s surrounding brick wall. He fell onto a sidewalk, and he sustained injuries of an elbow and a shoulder.

The plaintiff sued the employers of the bus’s driver, the New York City Transit Authority and the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority. The lawsuit alleged that that bus’s driver was negligent in his operation of the bus. The lawsuit further alleged that the New York City Transit Authority and Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority were vicariously liable for the driver’s actions.

The plaintiff claimed that the bus’s driver stopped in a location that aligned the tree well and the bus’s rear door. He acknowledged that the bus’s front door was not obstructed, but he claimed that the bus’s passengers were advised to exit via the rear door, so entering passengers could utilize the front door. He claimed that he asked the driver to move the bus, but that the driver refused. The plaintiff claimed that he was traveling with a companion who had exited at the same stop, and, thus, he contended that he had to exit at that time and place. A witness, who claimed that he also exited at the same stop, agreed that the tree well blocked the bus’s rear door. The witness claimed that passengers would not have exited without stepping into the well or onto the surrounding wall.

Plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the brick wall’s height measured 8 to 10 inches, and he noted that the plaintiff was utilizing a cane at the time of the accident. He argued that, given the plaintiff’s disability, the bus’s driver owed him a special duty of care and should have moved the bus to a safer location.

The bus’s driver claimed that he was not asked to relocate the bus. The defense’s expert biomechanical engineer submitted a report in which he opined that, given the door’s elevation relative to the sidewalk and the presence of handrails, passengers were provided a safe means of exiting the bus. The expert also noted that the plaintiff’s companion had safely exited the bus.

Injuries/Damages
The plaintiff sustained a fracture of his right, dominant shoulder’s humeral component. He also sustained a fracture of his left radius’s head, which is a component of the left elbow.

The plaintiff was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to a hospital. He was referred for further treatment.

After 23 days had passed, the plaintiff underwent open reduction and internal fixation of his right shoulder’s fracture. After four additional days had passed, he underwent an arthroplasty, which involved replacement of his left elbow. His surgeries were performed during a hospitalization that lasted a week. The hospitalization was immediately followed by a course of inpatient rehabilitation, which lasted 16 days. The plaintiff subsequently underwent two weeks of physical therapy.

The plaintiff claimed that he experiences residual pain during certain changes of weather. He also claimed that his left elbow and right shoulder remain weakened, that he cannot flex or elevate the elbow, that his right arm cannot be elevated above the level of his right shoulder, and that his residual effects hinder his ability to carry or lift objects.

The plaintiff sought recovery of damages for past and future pain and suffering.

Result
After the plaintiff’s fact witness had testified, and immediately prior to the scheduled start of the plaintiff’s testimony, the parties negotiated a settlement. The defendants, which were self-insured, agreed to pay a total of $450,000.

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Judge: Judge Peter Moulton

Editor’s Note: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel and defense counsel. Additional information was gleaned from court documents.

$297,500 Pre-Trial Settlement for Injuries From a Trip and Fall Accident in Queens

New York — This 88-year-old trip and fall victim claimed that his injuries were caused by negligent maintenance on the part of the owners of the driveway where the accident occurred. The elderly man’s fall injuries included a hip injury and wrist fracture. The man came to the injury lawyer experts of Morrison & Wagner and together, they filed a negligence lawsuit. In a pre-trial settlement they recovered $297,500 for the injury victim.

Illustrative Photo (Altered to obscure license plate): Alan Stanton [License]

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Damaged driveway a hazard, plaintiff claimed (VerdictSearch)

Settlement Amount: $297,500

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Court: Queens Supreme, Queens County, New York

Injury Type(s): hip – fracture; other – loss of services; wrist – fracture

Case Type: Slips, Trips & Falls – Slips, Trips & Falls, Trip and Fall; Premises Liability – Dangerous Condition, Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance

Date: January 17, 2011

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY

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Facts:

On Feb. 19, 2010, the plaintiff, 88, tripped on the sidewalk apron of a driveway that was located on the east side of 66th Avenue, between its intersections at Queens Boulevard and Saunders Street, in the Rego Park section of Queens. He fell, and he sustained injuries of a hip and a wrist.

The injured plaintiff sued the 35 owners of the residences that had access to the driveway. He alleged that the homeowners were negligent in their maintenance of the driveway. He further alleged that the homeowners’ negligence created a dangerous condition that caused his accident.

The fall victim claimed that the driveway was damaged and hazardous.

The defense was coordinated by a claims adjuster of the insurer that represented a plurality of the defendants. The defense contended that the plaintiff had been crossing the driveway on a near-daily basis for years and thusly would have been aware of any defect. The defense also contended that any defect was caused by sanitation vehicles that regularly accessed the driveway.

Injury:

The injury victim sustained a fracture of his left hip and a fracture of his left, nondominant arm’s wrist. He claimed that he suffers permanent residual pain and limitations that greatly hinder his ambulation and his performance of many of his everyday activities. He sought recovery of damages for past and future pain and suffering. His wife sought recovery of damages for loss of services.

Result:

The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. Each defendant’s insurer agreed to pay $8,500. Thus, the settlement totaled $297,500.

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Judge: Valerie Brathwaite Nelson

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. VerdictSearch was unable to solicit feedback from defense counsel.

$550,000 Payment in Trip and Fall Injury Lawsuit

New York — This 62-year-old man reported that he tripped and fell while walking down a step on private property. He fractured his leg and ankle and required surgery to try to repair the injuries. Unfortunately, he noted, he wasn’t able to return to work due to the injuries and pain. After speaking to a top injury lawyer at Morrison & Wagner, the victim decided to file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner and property manager of the home. They negotiated a $550,000 payment to compensate the man for his injuries.

Illustrative Photo Credit: diskychick [License]

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Landlord ignored broken walkway, visitor claimed (VerdictSearch)

Settlement Amount: $550,000

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Court: Kings Supreme, Kings County, New York

Injury Type(s):
leg-fracture (fracture, tibia); ankle-fracture (pilon fracture); ankle-fracture distal fibula; other-plate; other-closed reduction; other-pins/rods/screws; other-comminuted fracture; other-decreased range of motion; surgeries/treatment-open reduction; surgeries/treatment-external fixation; surgeries/treatment-internal fixation

Case Type: Slips, Trips & Falls – Slips, Trips & Falls, Trip and Fall
Premises Liability – Dangerous Condition, Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance

Date: July 8, 2014

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner, LLP; New York, NY

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Facts:

During the evening of Oct. 27, 2011, the plaintiff, 62, a factory worker, fell on a walkway of a residence that was located in the Weeksville section of Brooklyn. He sustained injuries of an ankle.

The injured man sued the premises’ owner and the premises’ manager. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants were negligent in their construction and maintenance of the premises’ entryway path. He further alleged that the defendants’ negligence created a dangerous condition that caused his accident.

The injured plaintiff claimed that he tripped while descending a step that led from an entryway path to a sidewalk. The plaintiff’s expert engineer submitted a report in which he contended that a gap had been created by settling, shifting and/or tilting of segmented stones that formed the step’s upper riser. The expert also contended that the step’s flags were misaligned, creating a height differential of about 0.75 inches.

Defense counsel contended that any defects were oriented side by side — not to front to back — and therefore would not have caused a tripping incident. He also contended that the walkway’s damage created merely minimal defects. He further contended that, during a deposition, the plaintiff placed his fall several inches away from the defects identified by the injury victim’s expert.

Injury:

The plaintiff sustained a pilon fracture: a comminuted fracture of the lowest portion of a leg’s tibia, which forms an upper component of the associated ankle. The injury involved his right ankle. He also sustained a fracture of his right fibula’s distal region, which is another component of the right ankle.

The trip and fall victim was placed in an ambulance, and he was transported to Kings County Hospital Center, in Brooklyn. After four days had passed, his fractures were addressed via closed reduction and the application of an external fixation device. Soon thereafter, he underwent open reduction and the internal fixation of hardware that included three screws and six plates. His hospitalization lasted about two weeks.

The plaintiff claimed that he suffers permanent residual pain and a residual diminution of his right ankle’s range of motion. He claimed that he requires use of a cane and that he cannot tolerate prolonged periods in which he is standing or walking. He further claimed that his injuries prevent his resumption of his job.

The man sought recovery of past lost earnings, future lost earnings, and damages for past and future pain and suffering.

The defense’s expert orthopedist submitted a report in which he opined that the plaintiff achieved a good recovery and that he can be gainfully employed.

Result:

Defense counsel moved for summary judgment of liability. During pendency of the motion, the parties negotiated a settlement. The defendants’ insurer agreed to pay $550,000.

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Judge: David I. Schmidt

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.

Trip and fall accident in Bronx elevator

New York – A senior citizen in the Bronx tripped and fell in an elevator that had just been repaired the day before. The injury victim suffered a fatal head injury and died of his wounds in the hospital the next day. The man reportedly tripped on his way into the elevator because the elevator floor wasn’t level with the hallway floor. Reports show that the location where the elevator accident occurred is a city public housing apartment building owned and operated by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). The elevator apparently was serviced by workers of NYCHA the day before the slip and fall injury. Tenants of the building noted that they had been complaining about the broken elevator and the dangerous condition that it presented for many years. The repairmen replaced a part and claimed that it was safe for use after their inspection. However, public advocates state that this was obviously not the case. In fact, they point to the fact that after the man was fatally injured, the city inspector noted that the replaced part was a faulty part and likely caused the accident. They believe that the part malfunction caused a trip hazard that was not evident to the victim when the elevator door opened. Activists warned that there is a problem with regular negligent maintenance in the public housing buildings and this must be dealt with to prevent further injuries and wrongful death. You can check this article out for more about this fall injury.

Illustrative photo from Public Domain [License]

$ 4.5 Million Settlement - Premises Liability - Hole in Kitchen Floor Not Repaired

New York — A 38-year-old hospital cashier was in the apartment that she rented in the Bronx. While bringing a large saucepan to the sink in the kitchen, she stepped in an oval-shaped hole in the floor, causing her to trip and fall. As she fell, the woman spilled the boiling hot contents of the pan on herself, resulting in burn injuries in 18% of her body. The victim sued for damages that she suffered due to the accident injuries after consulting with the injury lawyers at Morrison & Wagner. The woman alleged that the defendants were negligent in their maintenance of the apartment and that their negligence created a dangerous condition. Justice prevailed and they reached a $4,580,000 settlement for the trip and fall victim.

Illustrative Photo by Chris Sampson [License]

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Hole in kitchen floor not timely repaired, tenant alleged (VerdictSearch)

Settlement Amount: $4,580,000

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Court: Bronx Supreme, Bronx County, New York

Injury Type(s): arm; arm-scar and/or disfigurement; leg; leg-scar and/or disfigurement; leg
burns-third degree; other-scar and/or disfigurement; surgeries/treatment-skin graft

Case Type: Premises Liability – Apartment, Trip and Fall, Tenant’s Injury, Dangerous Condition, Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance

Date: January 4, 2007

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY
Eric H. Morrison; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY

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Facts:

On May 1, 2001, the plaintiff, 38, a hospital’s cashier, was in the apartment that she rented from Natasha and Hardial Singh and David and Surojni Farnum, at East 175th Street, in the Bronx. While the woman was bringing a large saucepan to the sink in the kitchen, she stepped in an oval-shaped hole in the floor, causing her to trip and fall. As she fell, the plaintiff spilled the boiling hot contents of the pan on herself, resulting in burns of her 18% of her body.

The accident victim and her family thought that she was a lawful tenant of the Singhs and Farnums. However, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc. had acquired ownership of the property at a foreclosure sale on April 12, 2001, as a result of the Singhs’ and Farnums’ delinquency on their mortgage payments. No one notified the woman of the foreclosure until she received a notice of eviction from Wells Fargo two days after her accident.

The plaintiff sued Norwest Mortgage Inc., which was the original mortgagor before being acquired by Wells Fargo; the court-appointed receiver who received the property during the foreclosure action; the Singhs; and the Farnums. The injury victim alleged that the defendants were negligent in their maintenance of the apartment and that their negligence created a dangerous condition.

Wells Fargo commenced a third-party action against Mortgage Contracting Services. It alleged that it hired Mortgage Contracting Services to perform monthly inspections of the property and that Mortgage Contracting Services was at least partially responsible.

Mortgage Contracting Services commenced a second third-party action against Quantum FACS Inc., Caretaker Properties Co. and Red Hawk Properties. Mortgage Contracting Services alleged that it hired the third-party defendants to perform interior repairs on the property and that they failed to do so.

Caretaker Properties failed to appear at trial, and a default judgment was entered. The court-appointed receiver was dismissed via pretrial summary judgment because it was determined that she had no management duties for the property. The matter continued against the remaining defendants.

The plaintiff claimed that the defendants failed to repair the hole in her floor. She contended that the defendants had known of the problems with the kitchen because the City of New York’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development had regularly cited the Singhs and Farnums for code violations for hazardous disrepair to the premises, including her kitchen. She also contended that when employees from Quantum FACS and Red Hawk Properties had come by to perform repairs, she informed an inspector of the problems with her kitchen. The woman claimed that the original owners were negligent because they continued to falsely represent themselves as the owner of record and accept her rental payments. She also claimed that Wells Fargo was negligent because it was the true property owner.

The injured woman’s counsel claimed that he discovered that Wells Fargo had been penalized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for failing to complete the foreclosure action within the time requirements of federal law.

The Singhs and Farnums contended that Wells Fargo’s acquisition at foreclosure six weeks before the woman’s accident relieved them of any subsequent liability for open and obvious defects of the premises. They further claimed that Mr. Farnum had abandoned the property shortly after the plaintiff’s family moved in and that his wife moved out one month before the accident. They moved to be let out of the case on summary judgment.

Wells Fargo contended that, as an out-of-possession owner, it had neither actual nor constructive notice, especially since it had never physically entered the premises. It alleged that Mortgage Contracting Services was responsible for any problems with the property because Mortgage Contracting Services was hired to inspect it. It also denied that it ever had contact or communication with anyone still living at the property. Wells Fargo also moved to be let out on summary judgment.

Mortgage Contracting Services asserted that its contractual responsibility to Wells Fargo was only to inspect the property from the outside and not to actually go inside or effect repairs. It also contended that it had reported to Wells Fargo that the building was occupied, but in disrepair and had hired Quantum FACS and Red Hawk Properties to do repairs that might need to be done, making them contractually indemnified. It also moved to be let out on summary judgment.

The court denied all motions for summary judgment.

Injury:

The plaintiff sustained third-degree burns throughout her legs, arms and torso. She was hospitalized for one month and underwent five separate split-thickness graft surgeries. She was left with keloid scarring of about 18% of her body surface, including her wrist, arms, legs and stomach.

The injured woman claimed that she missed three months of work as a result of her injuries. She did not need any follow-up care for her injuries after returning to work, but she claimed that she needed to see a psychiatrist on an outpatient basis five times over the ensuing five years. She sought recovery for damages for her past and future pain and suffering.

The defendants did not dispute the plaintiff’s burn scars as a result of her accident.

Result:

The matter went to mediation before retired judge Milton Mollen at JAMS/ENDISPUTE, but it settled outside of mediation for $4.58 Million prior to trial. Of the total settlement, Wells Fargo agreed to contribute $4.5 Million, and the insurer of the Farnums and the Singhs agreed to contribute $80,000 from its $100,000 policy.

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Judge: Douglas E. McKeon

Editor’s Comment:
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs’ and counsel of the Farnums, Mortgage Contracting Services, Quantum FACS, Red Hawk Properties, the Singhs and Wells Fargo. Counsel of Caretaker Properties, the court-appointed receiver and Norwest Mortgage was not asked to contribute.

Bicycle accident involving New York City bike sharing program

New York – The bicycle sharing program in the city has been blamed for an accident injury after a rider hit a road barrier. The man explains that he was riding the bicycle along the public roadway and approaching a docking station when the front wheel struck the concrete obstruction. He contends that the object was basically hidden from his view due to its common gray color and placement, causing him to crash. The bike crash caused a head injury and subsequent traumatic brain injury, according to reports. The accident victim says that nerve damage in his brain caused him to lose his sense of smell and ability to taste. The man has filed a personal injury lawsuit due to claims of negligence in the installation and maintenance of the barrier. Inspection of the accident scene shows that the stumbling block has now been painted orange with a traffic cone placed nearby to warn pedestrians and bicyclists of the dangerous situation. Some have pointed out that the obstacle should have been clearly marked at the time of installation in order to prevent just such a bicycle collision or trip and fall accident. They say that these types of hazards should have been picked up on by bike sharing program organizers before someone got hurt in an accident. The road hazard was placed right next to a cross walk, where pedestrians and bike riders would expect to be able to ride or walk safely. Further investigation is necessary to determine who is responsible for the proper installation and maintenance of these road barriers. Find out more about the accident in this article.

Illustrative photo by Jim.henderson (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Increase in New York City train accidents, injuries and deaths

New York – A recent report by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) notes a significant increase in subway and train deaths. Citizens and commuters in the city’s busy transit system have been hit and killed on the train tracks 65 times as of the end of the summer. The number of accidents and deaths has continued to rise since then according to reports. Transportation safety groups fear that this may be an increase that won’t stop unless something is done to prevent further accidents, injuries and deaths. They demand that more be done in way of safety barriers, accident prevention training and proper maintenance. The administration responsible for the safety and health of the people using the subways as well as the workers has looked into possible methods of preventing accidents and even suicides by people getting hit by a train. Unfortunately, according to some sources, the MTA administration has refused to install more safety barriers, fences and railings due to cost. Public advocates have countered that the safety of the public must be the primary concern and the administration must worker harder to find the necessary money. They warn that this type of accident prevention is just as important as the need for continued fixing of broken or faulty equipment. Negligent maintenance is something that also needs to be addressed in order to prevent some of the accidents in the subways, on the tracks and on the train platforms. Experts explain that broken steps, cracked sidewalks or hallways as well as damaged handrails must be fixed without delay. Unfortunately, sometimes these simple hazards are not fixed quickly or properly. Some of these dangerous conditions are just left with a line of yellow construction tape around them, poorly warning bystanders about the true dangers. The fast pace of the public transit system leaves citizens dodging these safety hazards on a constant basis. This can easily lead to a trip and fall accident that leaves the victim injured and confused as to what even occurred.

This past Wednesday saw another pedestrian struck and killed by a train, this time on Long Island. This train accident is still under investigation in order to determine why the pedestrian was hit. Another accident occurred on the tracks in Brooklyn, when a blind man fell off the platform. Luckily a maintenance worker helped save the victim by pulling him back up. Find out more about that near subway accident here.

Photo by Adam J. Sporka at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons