$1,750,000 Settlement for Deliveryman Who Slipped on a Wet Floor While Delivering an Order
Our client, a 35-year-old non-union driver and deliveryman, was delivering baked goods to a diner when he slipped on an unmarked wet floor. After slipping on the floor of the diner, he suffered an exacerbation of his pre-existing neck and back conditions resulting in severe pain. Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue secured a settlement in the amount of $1.75 million for our client before the case went to trial.
Court and County
Supreme Court, Nassau County
At the time of the accident, our client was a 35-year-old driver and deliveryman for a bakery supply company.
Description of Case
Our client was working for a bakery supply company delivering bakery products to restaurants in Nassau County. On the day of the accident, our client and his partner were in the process of delivering bags of flour to a diner in Bethpage, New York. Using a hand truck, our client escorted four fifty-pound flour bags into the diner.
As he walked through the basement, he suddenly slipped on the slick tile floor. He was completely unaware that the tile was wet, as there was no signage indicating so. He only noticed the wet floor as he lay across it, shocked by the fall. As he got up, he saw a pipe overhead that was leaking, creating a slick area on the tile that caused him to fall.
Despite feeling pain, our client left the diner. However, he did report the accident to his employer as his shift came to an end. His shift partner confirmed the accident and the condition of the wet floor. The defendant would go on to argue that the floor was not wet and that there were no leaks produced from the pipes in the basement, attempting to support their claim by producing several witnesses for deposition. Some of these witnesses included the owner of the diner and an employee of the diner.
As a result of the fall, our client suffered pain in his neck, lower back, left wrist, and right knee. Despite being in pain, our client went home after his shift had been completed and was able to work the following day. However, he went to an urgent care center for evaluation as his pain persisted two days later. The medical staff at the urgent care center prescribed him medication and instructed him to refrain from working. After his initial visit, our client returned twice within a week for continued complaints of pain.
Ultimately, our client came under the care of an orthopedist and a physiatrist for the treatment of his injuries. He began a course of conservative care, which included pain management and regular physical therapy. However, our client saw little relief from his pain. As his pain persisted, MRI studies were ordered; the imaging revealed disc herniations in both his lumbar spine and cervical spine.
Due to ongoing complaints of unrelenting pain, our client was referred to a spine surgeon. The surgeon recommended surgery to both the neck and back. Following this recommendation, our client underwent a two-level spinal fusion to his neck and a one-level spinal fusion to his back. Both surgeries were performed within a year following the accident. Our client also underwent surgery for carpal tunnel in his left wrist.
Although his pain was considerably worse after slipping on the basement floor of the diner, it was not the first time our client had experienced injuries to his neck and back. In fact, he had an extensive history of low back pain, which spanned the course of two decades. He sought treatment from various medical providers, including multiple emergency room visits. Our client also endured neck pain prior to the slip and fall, undergoing a previous MRI study that showed disc herniations at the same level as the post-accident MRI.
The defendant’s expert orthopedist contended that our client’s condition and need for surgery were unrelated to the slip and fall incident. However, partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue successfully argued that the accident at the diner exacerbated his pre-existing neck and back conditions, resulting in the need for surgery.
The matter was settled at a mediation for $1,750,000.
Partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue handled this matter.