On Aug. 4, 2014, Plaintiff, a woman in her 60s, fell while she was descending the exterior entryway stairs of her residence, an apartment building that was located in the Bronx. She claimed that she suffered an injury of her back which three months later, required a surgical fusion of her spine’s T9-10, T10-11, T11-12, T12-L1, L1-2 and L2-3 levels. Plaintiff claimed that her fall on a wet step, was a result of the building’s superintendent having hosed the stairway. Plaintiff maintained that the hosing occurred some thirty minutes prior to her fall, but the defense contended that the stairway would have completely dried during the intervening thirty minutes, given that the accident occurred during a warm, sunny August morning. Defense counsel also contended that Plaintiff should have noticed and avoided any wet condition, and she argued that Plaintiff was wearing flimsy slippers at the time of the accident. Plaintiff claimed that she will require further medical treatment, including a further fusion of her spine.
Her attorney asked the jury for of $16.6 million, which included $1.5 million for future medical expenses. The defense contended that Plaintiff’s fracture was not related to her fall. The defense also contended that Plaintiff’s surgery resolved her injury. The settlement demand never went below $2,850,000.00.
On April 3, 2019, a Bronx County jury found that the defendants were negligent with regard to the accident, but Plaintiff was assigned 80 percent of the liability. The jury determined that Plaintiff’s damages totaled $210,000.00 ($170,000.00 for past pain and suffering, $20,000.00 for future pain and suffering and $20,000.00 for future medical expenses), but the comparative-negligence reduction produced a net recovery to the plaintiff of just $42,000.00.00.