In January 2019, partner Edward A. Steinberg settled a case at private mediation where Leav & Steinberg LLP represented a plaintiff who suffered injuries in an incident that took place in January 2014. The case was handled from the inception by partner Daniela F. Henriques. Learn how our partner was able to get the plaintiff the compensation she deserved.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff, who was 67 years old at the time of the accident, was injured when a floor manager—an employee of the defendants’ establishment—slipped and fell on water near the entrance. The plaintiff was present in the upper level of establishment, near the bread display, waiting for a table to become available for about 30 minutes. She was facing the glass display that allows patrons to see the employees making fresh bread. Her back was to the restaurant, and she was there with members of her family, including her son.
The Incident That Caused the Injuries
The floor manager slipped on water accumulated on the floor near the front entrance to the eatery. As the floor manager fell to the ground, her body struck the plaintiff standing close by, causing her to fall and land heavily on her knee. The plaintiff suffered injuries to her knees that later required surgery; she had not slipped or fallen before the incident. The plaintiff did not fall on her own volition, and the only reason she fell was due to the floor manager crashing into her. No other customers or persons came into contact with the plaintiff before the accident.
After the note of issue was filed, both the defendants and the plaintiff filed respective motions for summary judgment. In their motion to dismiss, defendants contended that the plaintiff could not prove how long the water was on the floor near the entrance to the eatery or the source of the water, requiring dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint. The plaintiff argued that any contention as to the source of the water or how long it was near the entrance is not relevant. It was not the plaintiff who slipped and fell; it was the floor manager who failed to see the water on the floor before stepping into it. The floor manager was the one who did not avoid stepping into a hazardous situation, and it was the establishment that failed to place any mats whatsoever near the front entrance to the eatery before the accident. It was also the establishment that failed to have a cleaning crew mop the area dry near the entrance to the eatery before the accident. Further, it was solely the floor manager who fell in such a way as to place patrons, mainly the plaintiff, in harm’s way of being knocked over by her person.
The Extent of the Injuries
The plaintiff suffered a lateral tibial split fracture with mild depression of the lateral tibial plateau of the left knee. The plaintiff did not have any surgery to the left knee as a result of the fracture. The plaintiff was diagnosed with severe exacerbation of right knee arthritis, which became severely painful and did not improve. She required right knee replacement several months after the accident. In addition, the plaintiff underwent further surgery after suffering a transverse fracture of the right femur without displacement several years after the accident, also as a result of the left knee injury. The plaintiff contended that because she was overcompensating on the right lower extremity to protect the left knee during the healing process after the accident that she caused severe damage to the right knee. The defense contended that neither surgery to the right lower extremity was causally related to the initial injury and accident.
Trial and Settlement
After hours of settlement discussions at the mediation, the case settled for $300,000. Of interest, the case settled at mediation for 15 times the original offer conveyed by the defense.
At Leav & Steinberg LLP in New York City, Daniela F. Henriques and our other personal injury attorneys can help protect your rights if you experience an injury. We have years of experience helping clients get the compensation they deserve after a severe incident. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, contact us today.