Premises Liability – Recent Recoveries

Client Injured While Purchasing Hay
61 year old male suffered serious neck/shoulder injuries on neighbor’s farm while in the process of purchasing hay bales from such defendant neighbor. Client desired to purchase these extra large bales twined together in a heavy rectangle approximately 10’ x 5’ x 4’, and defendant agreed and wanted to sell them from high up in his barn loft. There was no question of the incident occurring, and which could have been even more devastating to plaintiff, as in death. Questions arose as to plaintiff’s own contributory fault, if any, by where he stood in the barn before bales fell from above and impacting him. The process for unloading the hay bales from above the loft was directed by the defendant neighbor/owner (and who passed due to unrelated reasons before this matter could be tried or settled). Plaintiff stood on the ground in the barn about as far away from harm as possible without exiting the barn at the point in time just before the incident. The defendant could have arranged for a tractor with a front-end loader to secure the bales and bring them down from the loft, but instead opted to back in plaintiff’s truck with a bed, hoping to “push off” a singular large bale from above and with the assistance of plaintiff’s handyman who joined the defendant in the loft. It was subsequently determined that the defendant cut the twine in key parts holding the smaller bales together, believing that it would thereby be easier to push off the bales down below. Defendant and the handyman then pushed off from the loft above, and the bales came down crooked and likely pulling apart (though disputed), but ultimately landing partly in the truck bed and the next outside the truck and violently impacting plaintiff.

Plaintiff suffered a major rotator cuff tear requiring an open procedure with acromioplasty, distal clavicle excision with biceps tendonesis. This injury impacted his ability to continue to perform his major manufacturing job with a worldwide employer. These injuries, together with some additional, unrelated health issues, combined to qualify him for Social Security disability income benefits. His medical charges from the incident totaled $83,269.32 and his wage losses were in the $82,000.00 range.

The Dead Man’s Act limited crucial evidence sought by plaintiff from discussions with the deceased defendant. The only independent, key lone witness to what occurred was the handyman with his observations. There were issues as to division of fault and the quality of the evidence from the handyman who had a felony record. A trial could have resulted in a zero verdict without testimony by the deceased defendant and the risk of a jury finding plaintiff more than half at fault and thereby barring any recovery. The case settled for $180,000.00 with a substantial reduction in lien payouts, thereby providing a $110,000.00 net to the plaintiff.

70 year old plaintiff was injured while attempting to enter a store
Client was injured in the early evening winter hours and while traversing the parking lot tripped and fell, fracturing left arm and shoulder and fracturing hand and wrist when hitting the surface/pavement. These injuries required considerable surgical interventions involving substantial plates, bars and screws and which yet remain in place. Physical therapy and medications were provided over a long period of time. Future medical needs include medications and cream for pain reduction and increase in comfort. All medical treatment ultimately culminated in medical charges totaling over $120,000.00. This client also incurred $6,000.00 in wage losses. Our client was left with significant restrictions with mobility, strength and stamina in the extremities affected. Arthritic changes have already developed and are expected to increase in the affected joints. This client was a very active person before this incident and has now been limited in so many passions and activities once enjoyed. Questions arose from the defense about the client’s walking and being unable to see and not stepping when needed to do so. Our side of the situation was that it was dark, with improper lighting and without proper designations of raised areas of sidewalks/curbs to gain entry to the store. There were questions raised of the division of blame for this event, with the argument by the defense that should our client be more than one-half at fault, there would be no recovery allowed by law. We urged that the duty for a safe entrance to the business was breached and the rightful path the client chose for safe entry to the store was compromised by defendant’s omitting curb markings and allowing vehicles to encroach the curb contributing to the fall risk and significant client injuries and damages. This case was formally mediated and an agreement was reached for a gross amount in the moderate six figure range.

43-year-old woman was involved in an altercation at a local tavern.  Our client was accompanying a friend to the bar and got involved in an oral exchange, which led to a physical altercation when defendant struck plaintiff in the face, all without warning.  After the initial blow to the facial area, our client then fell to the ground and continued to be battered by the defendant.  The defendant was intoxicated from alcohol sold at the above said bar.  Dram shop liability was also present in this case.  The EMS report indicated that she had dried blood near her nostrils, a swollen upper lip and a deformed right ankle.  The injuries were noted in the ER record to be as a result of being punched by a woman, falling and being beaten by the same woman while on the ground.  The ER doctor diagnosed tenderness and edema of her right ankle and a minor head injury.  X-rays showed a displaced, angulated and mostly oblique fracture fibular metaphysis with greater than one shaft’s width lateral displacement of distal fragment and subluxation/dislocation of the tibiotalar joint with marked disruption of the ankle mortise.  He diagnosed her with a right ankle fracture.  After reduction of her fractured ankle, subsequent x-rays revealed reduction of the tibiotalar joint with persistent widening of the ankle mortise, both medially and laterally, and a large oblique fracture at the distal fibular metaphysis with mild lateral displacement.  An orthopedic specialist later diagnosed a right ankle lateral malleous fracture and recommended surgical fixation and prescribed Vicodin for pain.  The doctor performed an ORIF of her right ankle lateral malleous fracture with a seven hole Synthes one-third tubular plate with one anterior to posterior compression screw.  During her first post-operative follow-up the doctor noted she “has some serious drainage from her ankle with minimal erythema” and moderate swelling and citing infection concerns.  At another follow-up she was placed in a short leg cast and ordered not to weight bear on her right leg for five weeks and prescribed aspirin once a day to prevent blood clots.  He then removed her short leg cast and prescribed a “fracture boot” and ordered that she only bear 10% of her weight on her right lower extremity.  This then proceeded to an order to begin wearing an “ultra ankle brace” and weight bear as tolerated.  She underwent 4 sessions of physical therapy.  She also required a second surgery to remove the screws and hardware.  She still experiences pain, discomfort and limitations to her right ankle.  This personal injury case settled for $45,000 from the bar, and $1,500 from defendant was the trial date.  The case was truly contended with disputed evidence of both plaintiff’s and defendant’s intoxication, initiation of physical contact and provocation by one or the other. While her medical bills totaled $37,000.00, liens were substantially reduced and a significant net recovery paid to plaintiff in this challenging case.

72-year-old male tripped over plastic cables or roping just off the ground and used to group chair legs together to prevent theft at a grocery store. He suffered a subtle nondisplaced fracture of the lateral aspect of the proximal right tibia with moderate-sized joint effusion. After months of conservative treatments and use of a Don-Joy PCL brace, his symptoms only worsened. Due to pre-existing health conditions, this gentleman was unable to be placed on oral anti-inflammatory medications and had to endure painful Depo-Medrol injections every three (3) months. The case settled for $40,000.00 prior to trial, with the defendant asserting plaintiff’s own negligence for not seeing the roping, and questioning the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries from the store incident. Medical bills totaled $13,931.75 and medical liens were substantially reduced for greater net dollars for the client. This senior citizen’s advanced age and disabilities necessitated an amicable resolution of the case without trial. His life expectancy was less than ten (10) years.

Female injured after falling over a box in a flower shop, sustaining injuries to her back, left arm and knee. Plaintiff was diagnosed with lumbar sprain and treated with pain medications and physical therapy. Subsequent follow up with orthopedic surgeon revealed lumbar segmental dysfunction, lumbar sprain/strain as well as thoracic or lumbosacral neuritis or radiculitis and was treated with heat treatments and manipulation. In addition, Plaintiff was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease with physical therapy being prescribed along with steroids and medication for pain. Steroids worked but pain returned upon discontinuation. Water based therapy was then recommended with continued use of pain medication and anti-inflammatories. Due to a lifting restriction, she was terminated from her position as a traveling nurse. Case settled for $39,500. – EK.

Infant and mother injured from hazard in rental property. Mother and infant resided in a home requiring maintenance and repairs. The mother fell through a hole, in the main bathroom, as she was stepping out of the shower. Just a short 4 months later, mold in the house adversely affected the infant boy’s breathing. The landlord of the home had been contacted on numerous occasions due to the needed repairs in the home. The child’s portion of the case was settled for $24,000, of which $16,000 was immediately payable to the child, with the remaining monies placed in a structure to grow and be paid out tax free when needed in his early adult years. The mother’s portion of this case was settled for $4,000. – CS.

Saleswoman slipped and fell entering hotel elevator. Plaintiff suffered a torn rotator cuff subsequently requiring three surgeries. Trial evidence revealed furniture polish had been wrongfully applied to the hardwood floor. Defendant denied wrongdoing. Jury verdict of $250,000 with 10% contributory negligence to the plaintiff. – PH.

A 47-year-old man broke his right leg after sliding on a floor mat near the entryway to a mall. The mat was set atop a pool of water in a slightly recesses or depressed area, causing water to accumulate and allowing the mat to slip out from underneath him and thereby causing his right leg and knee to twist, resulting in serious and permanent injuries. X-rays revealed that our client had a comminuted, depressed fracture of the lateral tibial plateau and suprapatellar effusion. Our client underwent an open reduction and internal fixation procedure with a lateral splint decompression fracture and per cutaneous screw fixation Three cancellous were inserted to set the tibia back into place. Our client was restricted to a wheel chair for approximately one month after his surgery and regained his strength through only extensive physical therapy. Following surgery, arthritis has now developed in his knee and he requires the aid of a cane from time to time, though he returned to his normal job duties. This personal injury case was initially devised with no offer of settlement and based on no fault or liability of the mall. The client’s workers’ compensation case was also disputed on the basis of not advising out of and in the course of work. A compromised settlement was reached out of court in the amount of $2,000.00 for workers’ compensation, representing loss of and $100,000.00 for personal injury to our client. – SK.

A man was injured when he fell as he was walking to approach a friend’s house slipping and falling on at first an unknown substance on the front yard grass during the course of work while cleaning up an oil spill. He was immediately rushed to the hospital emergency room for treatment of his right knee and later recommended for surgery. He underwent an arthroscopic surgery for a tear in the posterior horn of the medial meniscus, a small joint effusion and a small contusion involving the medial tibial plateau. Because of his injuries he was no longer able to return to his regular job as a truck driver and can no longer do basic activities like climbing stairs, stooping, heavy lifting and extended periods of sitting. The defendant(s) were liable in this case since they had a duty to inform the plaintiff of the known hidden danger on their property. A nationally advertised insurance company at first denied that the incident ever occurred. It then argued that the incident happened, but denied any wrong doing by its insured homeowner. The insurance company finally argued that while it agreed the incident happened, the hazardous condition was left to remain for a permitted person to encounter it. Lastly, it said that all injuries were pre-existing and not caused by the event. Our firm was able to secure a settlement for $55,000.00 based upon medical expenses, disability benefits and wage loss for our client. – SWG.

22-year-old man (minor at the time) sustained injuries to his right leg, foot, back, hip and buttocks when he was “sucked” into a vacuum helping a relative on his property. He was rushed to the hospital and due to the extent of his injuries was airlifted to a children’s hospital. X-rays revealed transverse fractures of the right tibia and fibula and as a result, he underwent immediate irrigation and debridement of his right tibia and fibula, an open reduction with external fixation of the right tibia and fibula and application of circular, multi planar talar external fixator. Later, two more irrigation and debridement surgeries were performed. Eventually, our client underwent an additional plastic surgery to correct a “free flap” skin slough in the area of his fracture site. Our client has a 1 1/4 inch difference in the length of his injured leg and is required to wear a one inch shoe lift for the rest of his life as a result of his injuries. Our firm secured a settlement of $50,000.00 for the medical expenses of our client’s injuries. This case was contested throughout, with our client sustaining his injuries on his relative’s property. The defense said that the entire reason our client got entangled in machinery and was harmed was as a result of our client’s own carelessness. We afforded that the conditions on the relative’s property was known only by the relative and that such conditions could not be appreciated by our client when he may have slipped/fallen into operating equipment which then severely injured him. There were no eye witnesses of what occurred and our client had no memory of the event. Should the jury have found our client more than half at fault, zero would have been recovered. – JMT.

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We work on a contingency fee basis. We do not get paid unless you win.

 

Call us today for a free consultation at 1-800-553-3125 or e-mail us or tell us about your case

Premises Liability – Recent Recoveries

72-year-old male tripped over plastic cables or roping just off the ground and used to group chair legs together to prevent theft at a grocery store. He suffered a subtle nondisplaced fracture of the lateral aspect of the proximal right tibia with moderate-sized joint effusion. After months of conservative treatments and use of a Don-Joy PCL brace, his symptoms only worsened. Due to pre-existing health conditions, this gentleman was unable to be placed on oral anti-inflammatory medications and had to endure painful Depo-Medrol injections every three (3) months. The case settled for $40,000.00 prior to trial, with the defendant asserting plaintiff’s own negligence for not seeing the roping, and questioning the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries from the store incident. Medical bills totaled $13,931.75 and medical liens were substantially reduced for greater net dollars for the client. This senior citizen’s advanced age and disabilities necessitated an amicable resolution of the case without trial. His life expectancy was less than ten (10) years.

Female injured after falling over a box in a flower shop, sustaining injuries to her back, left arm and knee. Plaintiff was diagnosed with lumbar sprain and treated with pain medications and physical therapy. Subsequent follow up with orthopedic surgeon revealed lumbar segmental dysfunction, lumbar sprain/strain as well as thoracic or lumbosacral neuritis or radiculitis and was treated with heat treatments and manipulation. In addition, Plaintiff was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease with physical therapy being prescribed along with steroids and medication for pain. Steroids worked but pain returned upon discontinuation. Water based therapy was then recommended with continued use of pain medication and anti-inflammatories. Due to a lifting restriction, she was terminated from her position as a traveling nurse. Case settled for $39,500. – EK.

Infant and mother injured from hazard in rental property. Mother and infant resided in a home requiring maintenance and repairs. The mother fell through a hole, in the main bathroom, as she was stepping out of the shower. Just a short 4 months later, mold in the house adversely affected the infant boy’s breathing. The landlord of the home had been contacted on numerous occasions due to the needed repairs in the home. The child’s portion of the case was settled for $24,000, of which $16,000 was immediately payable to the child, with the remaining monies placed in a structure to grow and be paid out tax free when needed in his early adult years. The mother’s portion of this case was settled for $4,000. – CS.

Saleswoman slipped and fell entering hotel elevator. Plaintiff suffered a torn rotator cuff subsequently requiring three surgeries. Trial evidence revealed furniture polish had been wrongfully applied to the hardwood floor. Defendant denied wrongdoing. Jury verdict of $250,000 with 10% contributory negligence to the plaintiff. – PH.

A 47-year-old man broke his right leg after sliding on a floor mat near the entryway to a mall. The mat was set atop a pool of water in a slightly recesses or depressed area, causing water to accumulate and allowing the mat to slip out from underneath him and thereby causing his right leg and knee to twist, resulting in serious and permanent injuries. X-rays revealed that our client had a comminuted, depressed fracture of the lateral tibial plateau and suprapatellar effusion. Our client underwent an open reduction and internal fixation procedure with a lateral splint decompression fracture and per cutaneous screw fixation Three cancellous were inserted to set the tibia back into place. Our client was restricted to a wheel chair for approximately one month after his surgery and regained his strength through only extensive physical therapy. Following surgery, arthritis has now developed in his knee and he requires the aid of a cane from time to time, though he returned to his normal job duties. This personal injury case was initially devised with no offer of settlement and based on no fault or liability of the mall. The client’s workers’ compensation case was also disputed on the basis of not advising out of and in the course of work. A compromised settlement was reached out of court in the amount of $2,000.00 for workers’ compensation, representing loss of and $100,000.00 for personal injury to our client. – SK.

A man was injured when he fell as he was walking to approach a friend’s house slipping and falling on at first an unknown substance on the front yard grass during the course of work while cleaning up an oil spill. He was immediately rushed to the hospital emergency room for treatment of his right knee and later recommended for surgery. He underwent an arthroscopic surgery for a tear in the posterior horn of the medial meniscus, a small joint effusion and a small contusion involving the medial tibial plateau. Because of his injuries he was no longer able to return to his regular job as a truck driver and can no longer do basic activities like climbing stairs, stooping, heavy lifting and extended periods of sitting. The defendant(s) were liable in this case since they had a duty to inform the plaintiff of the known hidden danger on their property. A nationally advertised insurance company at first denied that the incident ever occurred. It then argued that the incident happened, but denied any wrong doing by its insured homeowner. The insurance company finally argued that while it agreed the incident happened, the hazardous condition was left to remain for a permitted person to encounter it. Lastly, it said that all injuries were pre-existing and not caused by the event. Our firm was able to secure a settlement for $55,000.00 based upon medical expenses, disability benefits and wage loss for our client. – SWG.

22-year-old man (minor at the time) sustained injuries to his right leg, foot, back, hip and buttocks when he was “sucked” into a vacuum helping a relative on his property. He was rushed to the hospital and due to the extent of his injuries was airlifted to a children’s hospital. X-rays revealed transverse fractures of the right tibia and fibula and as a result, he underwent immediate irrigation and debridement of his right tibia and fibula, an open reduction with external fixation of the right tibia and fibula and application of circular, multi planar talar external fixator. Later, two more irrigation and debridement surgeries were performed. Eventually, our client underwent an additional plastic surgery to correct a “free flap” skin slough in the area of his fracture site. Our client has a 1 1/4 inch difference in the length of his injured leg and is required to wear a one inch shoe lift for the rest of his life as a result of his injuries. Our firm secured a settlement of $50,000.00 for the medical expenses of our client’s injuries. This case was contested throughout, with our client sustaining his injuries on his relative’s property. The defense said that the entire reason our client got entangled in machinery and was harmed was as a result of our client’s own carelessness. We afforded that the conditions on the relative’s property was known only by the relative and that such conditions could not be appreciated by our client when he may have slipped/fallen into operating equipment which then severely injured him. There were no eye witnesses of what occurred and our client had no memory of the event. Should the jury have found our client more than half at fault, zero would have been recovered. – JMT.

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We work on a contingency fee basis. We do not get paid unless you win.

 

Call us today for a free consultation at 800-553-3125 or e-mail us or tell us about your case.