The Plaintiff alleged that she suffered personal injuries to her left foot and back as a result of a fall on the premises of her employer located in Woburn, Massachusetts. The defendant was under contract with the plaintiff’s employer to provide certain janitorial services, including the washing of floors at the Woburn store where the Plaintiff worked as a sales clerk. The defendant alleged that it exercised due care in its selection of a sub-contractor which was to perform services at the premises where the Plaintiff worked.
Trial testimony indicated that Ames was not informed of the substitution of the sub-contractor until long after the Plaintiff fell. There was conflicting testimony which indicated that there may have been personnel from the defendant on the premises at the time of the Plaintiff’s fall, notwithstanding its suggestions to the contrary. The washing of floors at the premises was to be commenced after sales personnel had left the store after it closed. Testimony reflected that the washing of the floors commenced prior to the time when store personnel had left the premises. Evidence also proved that the rules and regulations of the defendant required the placing of signs which warned persons of wet floors when the floor washing was conducted. There were no such signs in the area of the premises where the Plaintiff fell as she left after the store closed to the public on the night.
The plaintiff, who earned less than $175 per week was diagnosed with a fractured foot which led to an altered gait causing low back pain. Her orthopedic surgeon testified that all of her impairments were caused by this fall, and not her advanced age.
The jury delivered a verdict, with interest, of slightly more than $ 278,000. The Plaintiff offered to settle the case for $ 2,000 less than the verdict as this allowed her a greater recovery than the actual higher verdict as the workers’ compensation insurer would have be entitled to interest on the verdict, but was only entitled to the lien without interest with respect to the settlement.
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