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
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
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner, LLP; New York, NY
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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.
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.
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.