COURT AND COUNTY
AGE AND OCCUPATION OF PLAINTIFF
Plaintiff was 33 years old and unemployed at the time of accident.
DESCRIPTION OF CASE
Plaintiff was walking down the stairs in his Bronx apartment building, carrying a bag of garbage to the lobby. Near the top of the last flight of stairs, Plaintiff claimed to have tripped over a slightly raised metal strip on the edge of a stair, and fell to the bottom of the staircase as a result. Plaintiff argued that the Defendant building was aware of the metal defect prior to his accident. The Defendant argued that it was not on notice of the condition, and that the metal strip was so slightly raised that it did not constitute a defect for which the building could be held responsible under the law. Defendant also argued that Plaintiff, who had lived in the building and used the staircase for years, was at fault because he should have seen and avoided tripping over the metal strip.
Plaintiff sustained neck and back injuries, for which he underwent physical therapy, epidural injections and ultimately two spine surgeries. The first surgery involved an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion at the C5/C6 level. The second was a lumbar decompression with fusion at the L5/S1 level. Plaintiff claimed damages for past and future medical costs and his pain and suffering.
Defendant argued that Plaintiff's spine injuries existed before this accident, and pointed to multiple prior accidents in which Plaintiff was involved where he had made similar neck and low back complaints and undergone treatment for both. Defense medical experts examined the Plaintiff and found that he had recovered fully after his spine surgeries, and had no remaining deficits. The defense also noted that Plaintiff was working stocking shelves in a grocery store shortly before the case settled.
This case was handled by Stephen J. Murphy, Esq. and David L. Scher, Esq.