Case Results – Premises Liability
Personal Injury Case Results – Premises Liability
Parker Scheer Settles Premises Liability Case; $150,000
Our premises liability law firm, recently represented a plaintiff, a 27 year-old wife and mother of two young children, who was visiting her sister-in-law’s rented home with her family. During their visit, the plaintiff and her family used an exterior wooden stairway to gain access to the nearby lake for swimming and boating. When the plaintiff stepped on the first step of the stairway, the tread suddenly collapsed, causing injury to her foot. Her husband, who was nearby, assisted her to the car and drove her to a local hospital for emergency medical treatment.
Trial report for this premises liability case
Loss Of Consortium; Insurance Bad Faith; $1.25 Million
The plaintiff, a 47 year-old husband and father of two young children, was a lawful visitor at the defendant’s warehouse, waiting to be interviewed for a position with the defendant’s delivery company. While waiting for the interviewer to arrive, the plaintiff noticed a worker experiencing difficulty with a forklift and walked over to offer assistance. As the plaintiff approached the forklift, the worker suddenly struck the upper portion of the forklift with a tool – ostensibly to free the frozen lift – causing the forks to free-fall directly onto the plaintiff’s right foot.
Trial report for this premises liability case
Injury While Cutting Pieces Of Wood With A Saw; $132,000
Plaintiff injured while at his brother’s home helping him cut pieces of wood with a saw. The plaintiff was helping replace the treads on the stairway of his brother’s home. The plaintiff was cutting the wooden boards using a circular table saw that was owned by his brother. The plaintiff’s brother was handing him the wood to be cut. As the plaintiff’s brother grabbed another piece of wood and turned with the wood, he bumped into the plaintiff while he was in the process of cutting one of the boards. This act caused the safety guard to flip up and resulted in the plaintiff’s right index finder being cut. The plaintiff’s right index finger was lacerated but not severed.
Wrongful Death Caused by Unsecured Gate; $600,000
On Labor Day, the plaintiff, an 11 year-old boy and three additional children, including the plaintiff’s 8 year-old brother, were playing on the grounds of a public grammar school located down the street from the plaintiff’s home in Methuen, Massachusetts. While the boys were playing within a large dumpster enclosure, a 1,600-pound unhinged gate, which had been left, leaning against the inside wall of the enclosure, fell on the two brothers, killing one and seriously injuring the other.
Off-Loading Injury to Truck Driver; $900,000
The plaintiff, a 60 year-old professional truck driver, was delivering load of heavy material to an industrial vendor. During the off-loading process, being conducted by the defendant, a portion of the shipment fell on the plaintiff, pinning his legs to the ground. The plaintiff suffered a severe fracture of his tibia-fibula, which required the implantation of a metal rod to stabilize, and resulted in a severe post-operative infection and painful physical therapy. While the plaintiff managed to recover most of his mobility, he is unable to return to work as a professional truck driver. The case was settled prior to trial for $900.000. Eric J. Parker and Susan M. Bourque represented the plaintiff.
Failure to Adequately Secure 18 Wheeler During Routine Maintenance. $200,000
The plaintiff, a preferred truck driver, brought his 2000 XL Freightliner truck to the Defendant’s service center for routine maintenance. The manager instructed the Plaintiff to advise the mechanic to perform the necessary warranty work and he would prepare a slip reflecting the completed work after it was performed. As the Plaintiff entered the service bay to inform the mechanic of the manager’s instructions, he walked along the passenger side of the truck and around the back of the truck. Suddenly and without warning, the Plaintiff’s truck rolled backward, off the incline, and directly toward the Plaintiff. The rear tire and mud flap caught the Plaintiff’s jacket and pulled the plaintiff sideways and down toward the ground. The significant weight, estimated at more than 12-tons, forced the plaintiff against the closed, steel garage door, with sufficient force to crush the plaintiff between the truck and steel door behind him. The Plaintiff was ultimately diagnosed several protruding discs and a partial tear of the inferior aspect of supraspinatus tendon. The Plaintiff underwent left shoulder supraspinatus repair and bicep tendondesis and began a course of physical therapy to strengthen his left shoulder. The case was complicated by a fall, eleven months after the initial injury, suffered by the Plaintiff while at home which resulted in additional serious injuries. The case was settled following one day of mediation.
Defective Entrance Door – Herniated Disc; $175,000
The plaintiff, a 50 year-old United States Postal Service letter carrier, suffered a herniated L4-5 disc while attempting to deliver mail to the defendant’s home. Parker Scheer successfully demonstrated that a handyman, employed by the defendant homeowner, had left a large storm door in a partially secured condition, before leaving to located longer wood screws. When the plaintiff attempted to open the door, the door separated from the frame and fell toward the plaintiff, injuring him. The highest offer of settlement extended by the defendant’s insurance company was $50,000. Parker Scheer obtained a $175,000 award following two days of binding arbitration.
Fall in Customer’s Home; $325,000
The plaintiff, a 36 year-old male, was hired to paint the exterior of a home, along with the trim and reinstall the storm windows at a residence in Newton, Massachusetts. As the plaintiff was carrying one of the windows across the property, his foot came into contact with a raised section of a flagstone walk leading to the exterior stairway, causing him to fall forward. As he fell, his left arm struck the edge of the window pane, severely lacerating his wrist. The plaintiff required two major surgical procedures and was ultimately diagnosed with complete ulnar nerve paralysis in the distal forearm and hand.
Fall in Produce Market – Fractured Hip; $137,500
The plaintiff suffered a fractured hip after a fall at the defendant’s produce market. The plaintiff alleged that she was caused to fall on several fallen and crushed grapes that were left on the floor. The check out counter was close to the area where the plaintiff fell, and the defendant could have easily seen the fallen grapes and cleared the floor prior to the plaintiff’s fall. The plaintiff underwent the surgical repair of her fractured hip, and post-operative rehabilitation. The case settled prior to litigation.
Trial report for this premises liability case
Defective Stairway – Back Injury and Exacerbation of Depression; $50,000
The plaintiff, a 43 year-old aircraft engine part designer, was descending a winding staircase located within the defendant retail hardware store, and lost his footing on the stairway causing him to fall down the wooden stairway. An investigation of the stairway revealed that a building permit for the construction of the stairway had not been obtained by the owner during renovations in the mid 1980’s. The plaintiff contended that the stairway, as built, did not conform to the Massachusetts State Building Code, which prohibited the use of winding staircases in retail stores. The plaintiff was further prepared to offer evidence at trial that several of the treads on the stairway were too narrow to safely accommodate a person descending at one side of the staircase. The plaintiff was also prepared to demonstrate that as a result of his fall, he suffered an injury to his back and shoulder and an exacerbation of his pre-existing depression. The case settled following one day of mediation.
Trial report for this premises liability case
Fall on Ice – Fractured Hip; $140,000
While a pedestrian in a large, outdoor parking lot located beside a suburban mall, the plaintiff, a 72 year-old woman, was caused to trip over an accumulation of ice and frozen snow surrounding the cement base of a large lighting stanchion. As a result of her fall, the plaintiff suffered a fractured femoral head. The plaintiff was prepared to offer evidence at trial that the management company and the party responsible for removing snow and ice from the premises, failed to take reasonable and necessary steps to remove the accumulation of snow and ice from the parking area. Following one day of mediation, the mall’s management company offered $100,000 in partial settlement of plaintiff’s ongoing claim. The plaintiff negotiated a settlement with the plowing company in the amount of $40,000 after the plaintiff successfully argued against summary judgment.
Fall on Exterior Landing to Medical Building – Fractured Hip and Wrist; $110,000
The plaintiff, an 87 year-old woman, suffered a fractured hip and fractured wrist after tripping at the edge of a landing outside the main entrance at a medical-office building. As the plaintiff and her daughter were leaving the building, they had difficulty exiting directly onto the landing, due in part to the excessive closing speed of the door. As a result, the plaintiff was forced to her right, out of the path of the closing door. As she stepped to her right, she stepped off the side of the sloped landing, falling on her right side and sustaining her significant injuries. The plaintiff alleged that the configuration of the exit, particularly the weight of the door and insufficient width of the landing, posed an unreasonable danger to medical patients, particularly the elderly. The plaintiff was prepared to offer evidence that the configuration of the exit violated four separate provisions of the state building and safety code pertaining to the slope and width of the ramp and landing, door closing speed, and handrail requirements. The case settled after a full-day mediation.
Fall Caused by Protruding Deck Nail; $390,000
The plaintiff, a 57 year-old woman, was caused to fall down a set of stairs, which were recently renovated by one of the defendant’s employees. The plaintiff was caused to fall when her foot caught on a nail, which protruded approximately _ inch above the surface of the deck. Plaintiff’s counsel learned that the defendant had failed to obtain the necessary building permits and the stairs, as renovated, did not conform to the Massachusetts State Building Code. The plaintiff sustained a herniated disc, which required a laminectomy. The case settled after two rounds of mediation for $390,000, including $300,000 in up-front cash and a lump sum worker’s compensation settlement valued at $90,000.
Fall on Hotel Patio – Fractured Hip; $300,000
The 73 year-old plaintiff suffered an intertrochant eric fracture of his left hip after a fall on a stone patio at the defendant’s resort hotel in Aruba. While moving his chair on the hotel patio to get out of the direct sunlight, the plaintiff fell to the ground, injuring his left hip. The patio consists of an upper and lower level that are approximately 20 inches apart in height. The previous rope barrier that separated the two levels was removed by management and not replaced with a temporary barrier system until a new one was installed. The plaintiff brought suit against the hotel’s owner and management company claiming that the defendant’s were negligent in failing to caution guests of the change in height on the patio, especially without a barrier in place.
Broken Glass Shelf – Facial laceration; $37,500 up front cash plus a structure providing an additional payout of $160,000
The plaintiff, a 4 year-old boy, was walking through a retail store with his mother when his cheek rubbed against the broken edge of a glass shelf. He suffered a laceration of his cheek, which required sutures and has left a permanent hairline scar. The plaintiff contended that the defendant was negligent in failing to keep its property in reasonably safe condition for customers. After the defendant argued that there was not enough evidence to prove how long the glass shelf had been broken, the plaintiff was prepared to offer evidence, supplied by a store employee, that the shelf had been broken for some time prior to the incident and had not been repaired. The claim was settled prior to suit.
Slip and Fall on Motor Oil – Fractured Femur; $225,000
After parking in the lot of a BayBank branch in Burlington, the 70 year-old plaintiff slipped and fell on a patch of motor oil between two closely parked cars and fractured his femur. He was making his way along the primary pedestrian path to the cement walkway that led to the bank’s main entrance when this happened. The plaintiff argued that the defendant was negligent in failing to maintain the parking lot in reasonably safe condition, causing the plaintiff’s serious injury. The plaintiff’s attorney obtained plot plans that showed that the bank did not obtain necessary permits before the construction of the walkway, and that the parking lot did not comply with state or local regulations as far as the lot’s layout and design. The case was mediated and settled one day after mediation.
Paralysis Caused by Unsafe Playground; $950,000
A man became paralyzed after his head struck an exposed piece of iron and he fell onto a wooden surface while using a playground built by a group of citizens in Stow. The plaintiff and his family sued six individual volunteers who designed and oversaw the entire construction process. Instead of using a pre-fabricated kit from a reputable manufacturer, the volunteers used their own materials and never consulted anyone regarding the design and its safety. There was no blueprint and no uniformity in the materials. The plaintiff contended that the town was negligent in failing to supervise or inspect the design and construction process of the playground for safety reasons. One week prior to trial, the parties agreed to submit the case to mediation, which resulted in a combined settlement of $950,000, which will be paid from both the town’s liability insurance policy and the volunteers’ homeowners’ policies.
Torn Quadriceps Tendon; Automated Car Wash – Failure to Monitor Exiting Cars; $100,000
A man sustained a sudden rupture of his quadricept tendon at an automated car wash. While waiting for his car to complete the car wash outside of the tunnel, he observed that the car was exiting the tunnel unattended. Believing that his car would continue to roll down the hill and into the busy roadway below, the plaintiff ran toward his car and attempted to open the driver’s door, in order to seat himself, and bring his vehicle to a safe stop. In the process of opening the driver’s door and gaining control of his vehicle, the plaintiff sustained a sudden rupture of his quadriceps tendon.
Multiple Bone Fractures – Defective Stairway Hand Railing; $190,000
The plaintiff slipped going down a stairway in a hotel. As the plaintiff began to fall, she attempted to reach out for a handrail to arrest her fall, but she was unable to grasp on to the large ornamental handrail due to the excessive diameter of the ornamental hand railing. After coming to rest at the base of the staircase, the plaintiff immediately experienced severe pain in her head, face, and left arm. Evaluation in the hospital revealed multiple fractures. The plaintiff’s personal injury lawyers showed that the stairway handrail design violated the Massachusetts State Building Code.
Failure to safely off-load construction materials; $300,000
The plaintiff, a 33 year-old freight truck operator, had been contracted to deliver two large, steel trusses, from Easton, Massachusetts to a construction site in Marlboro, Massachusetts. While the defendant was in the process of shifting the load toward the inclined planks, one of the steel side poles, which had been placed against the headboard, fell and struck the plaintiff on the head, resulting in a closed head injury. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant, steel contractor, was ill prepared to off-load the trusses, which, as confirmed by the defendant’s deposition, was typically performed through the use of a crane.
Nursing home’s negligent transport of hot coffee; $68,700
The plaintiff’s decedent, a 92 year-old resident of the defendant nursing home, was seated in her wheelchair, located at the entrance to her bedroom. As she waited for her private care attendant to return with a pillow, a rolling food cart, being pushed by an employee of the defendant nursing home, suddenly struck her wheelchair. As a result of the collision between the food cart and the plaintiff’s wheelchair, a carafe of scalding coffee, which had been placed atop the food cart, toppled, dousing the plaintiff’s back with scalding coffee.
Have You Been Injured Due To Unsafe Premises?
Find out if you have a case. If you have suffered an injury due to a slip and fall, or other unsafe premises conditions, contact us for a free confidential case review and receive a response within hours, or call (617) 886-0500 . If you need a lawyer outside of Massachusetts, contact us for a referral.