Ms. Neves was shopping with her daughter at the North Dartmouth Mall. She tripped on an incline in the floor inside the mall, in front of Victoria Secrets, tearing the rotator cuff in her shoulder, requiring surgery. The owners of the mall refused to negotiate with her first attorney. Her second attorney filed suit but did not pursue the case.
We were retained and aggressively prosecuted the case: we immediately brought in an expert. The expert, an engineer, went to the mall and measured the inclines at the locus where Ms. Neves fell. The engineer, through testing, determined that the mall floor pitched in multiple directions and was dangerous.
Next, we spent days searched through all of the mall records for accidents. As a result of our focused research, we were prepared to introduce into evidence other similar incidents. The opposing attorney knew we had built a strong case, and settled on the courthouse steps on the day of trial.
See Bristol Superior Court Civil Action Number B98-0658.
Personal Injury Case Results
Revere Landlord Negligent, Causing Broken Ankle and Surgery
The owners of a three family home in Revere used a wooden ramp to get their lawnmower over a step from the side walkway to the backyard. The board was left there, year after year, and became smooth. When wet, it was slippery. When wet and covered with debris, it was dangerous.Our client Elaine, a homemaker with two children, was a tenant living in the second floor of the building. Elaine would clean up the backyard trash from time to time. In the fall of 2007, Elaine and her husband went to her backyard to clear out some trash. It rained and they went back inside. After the brief rainstorm, Elaine went back to finish her chore. Unfortunately, the board that the landlord left at the threshold between the backyard and the side walkway was now wet and slippery, replete with debris, and dangerous. When Elaine stepped on the board she slid, fell and landed wrong on her ankle.The result of the fall was a broken ankle, a trimalleolar fracture of the right ankle necessitating surgery called open reduction internal fixation, and requiring two screws being inserted to keep the bones together. The surgery was successful, but Elaine required a second surgery to remove the screws to allow more flexibility to the foot. When our office retained the doctor to give his opinion regarding the permanency of Elaine’s loss of function, her orthopedic surgeon stated that she would have a 20% loss of function to her right leg.Of particular interest in this case was that the insurance defense trial attorney took the strategy of attempting to intimidate the plaintiff and her husband. First, they refused to produce copies of the photographs their New Hampshire adjuster took before we filed suit. We litigated this and won. Then their tactic was more directly focused and implemented during the deposition of the husband; the lawyer pretended to direct the witnesses’ attention to indecipherable photographs (black and white copies of the aforementioned photographs), standing behind the witness, and then quickly switched to attempting a swift cross-examination. It was like the stuff on television. Fortunately, after being instructed to “sit in your chair” by Attorney Neil Burns, the tactic proved useless.
Notwithstanding heavily disputed liability, and no lost earnings, the case settled days before trial for $100,000.00.
See Suffolk Superior Court Civil Action Number 08-5375.
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