$1,500,000 Settlement for Injuries After Slip and Fall on Icy Sidewalk

Court and County

Bronx County Supreme Court

Plaintiff Description

Our client was 29 years old on the day of the incident. She was born in the Dominican Republic and has three children.

Description of Case

Our client was walking to take her child to day care in the Bronx neighborhood of Mount Eden when the accident occurred. She was holding her child at the time of the fall. This was a walk that she made daily.

It had recently snowed and so our client was walking in the middle of the sidewalk, which was mostly cleared but still had some dirty snow and ice on it. There was mounds of shoveled snow on either side of the sidewalk. Weather records indicate that the last snowfall had occurred 39 hours earlier and had left 6.2 inches of snow. It was not raining or snowing at the time of the accident.

There were people walking in front of our client, obscuring her view of the condition of the pathway. Without warning, the black ice caused her to slip and fall. Since she was holding her child at the time, she fell backwards to try and protect him, causing her to strike her head on the sidewalk. It was at this point that she realized that the sidewalk was covered in ice.

A witness to the accident confirmed that the width of the sidewalk was covered with thick ice which extended down most of the length of the pathway. They went on to state that there was a large accumulation of ice on that sidewalk for the two weeks prior to the accident.

Injuries

Our client immediately felt pain in her head, neck and shoulders. She also experienced some blurred vision. She brought her son the rest of the way to day care and took a taxi to the emergency room at Bronx Lebanon Hospital with complaints of headaches not long after. She was given a cervical collar and discharged with medicine for her pain. She went back to work and continued working until she had her cervical spinal fusion surgery.

An MRI of her cervical spine revealed a C4/5 and C5/6 right paracentral herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP). Though she was hesitant to have surgery, her pain began to get worse and radiate down her arm. A few months later, an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) was performed at the C5/6 level.

The Defendants argued that our client's injuries were degenerative in nature and not causally related to the subject accident. They also argued that all diagnostic studies obtained failed to illustrate any traumatically induced injury. Furthermore, Defendants argued that no further treatment is necessary at this juncture and that our client can engage in all the activities of daily living without any restrictions.

Settlement Amount

This case settled for $1,500,000.

$1 million of this represented the entire primary policy for the Defendants who were the tenants of the building, while the other $500,000 came from the $1 million policy of the owner of the building.

Handling Attorneys

This matter was handled by Stephen J. Murphy and Michael J. Hurwitz.