Premises Liability
VERDICTS/SETTLEMENTS

$800,000 - Snow and Ice - Slip and Fall - Service Entrance Ramp - Ankle Injury

Theresa Favor v. RP Stellar Riverton, LLC and Stellar Management, LLC. Supreme Court, New York County, Index No. 105435/10. Plaintiff, residing in an apartment building in NY County, exited her building at 6:40 am on February 11, 2010 through the service entrance, and was caused to slip and fall on the service ramp due to an accumulation of ice. Plaintiff, 53, was employed as a Storeroom Attendant for Verizon. The day before the accident, February 10, there was a major snow storm that resulted in 10.4 inches of snow to fall between the hours of 6:00 am and 11:45 pm. Plaintiff claimed that defendants failed to properly remove snow and ice from the ramp which resulted in the formation of ice. In addition, plaintiff claimed that the service entrance ramp violated the NYC Building Code since the handrail system was defective. The handrail did not return and extend all the way to the door. As a result, plaintiff was unable to hold onto the handrail or reach for the handrail to prevent her from falling. Defendants claimed that ice that plaintiff slipped on could not have formed prior to 5:00 am, less than two hours before plaintiff fell. Defendants claimed that the staff removed snow until the storm stopped at 11:45 and salted all the entrances/exits of the building. In addition, defendants claimed that the subject ramp was in compliance with all applicable building codes and requirements. Both sides exchanged weather experts and professional engineers. As a result of her fall, plaintiff sustained a left fibular fracture. She was treated and released the same day at Harlem Hospital Center. The following day plaintiff sought treatment from a private physician and her ankle was placed in a hard cast. Eighteen months after the accident plaintiff sought medical treatment for pain in her ankle and was diagnosed with a mal-union. Plaintiff eventually underwent surgery to correct the ankle mal-union requiring open reduction and internal fixation. Subsequently, plaintiff underwent a further surgery due to posttraumatic arthritis requiring an ankle arthroplasty with external fixation. Plaintiff claimed she has chronic pain in her left ankle. Defendants’ medical expert opined plaintiff’s x-rays six weeks following the accident revealed her ankle was healed and in good alignment. Moreover, defendant’s expert opined that the ankle mal-union was not caused by this accident, and plaintiff must have injured her ankle sometime after her cast was removed. Judd Kleeger settled this matter before trial in the amount of $800,000.00 at a mediation conference. 2015