Marietta, GA personal injury attorney Michael R. Braun reflects on an important case.
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Probably the most memorable slip and fall case that I’ve had was actually a trip and fall case over a curb outside of a retail store where the curb was not painted. We were able to show originally when we took the case my client testified that she was walking towards the front door of a retail store, she saw somebody on crutches that was trying to open the door and having some trouble so she hurried a little bit to go try and help him with the door. In the process, she fell over the unpainted I always call it the wedge of the curb, which is where it goes from being flat and even with the parking lot up to a regular curb.
In this case, the wedge was not painted and my client tripped over it and she fell and she broke her hip and sustained a back injury also. Originally, when we too the case the insurance company as well as the retail store denied all responsibility for it. We were able to show through the discovery process, through the litigation process that the store had had other people who had fallen over the same curb and we were able to use that during trial to show the jury that the store had notice of the fact that the curb was hard to see. You just couldn’t see it as you were approaching it; it looked flat because it was the same color as the rest of the parking lot and the rest of the curbing around it.
Prior to trial, the insurance company offered us $5,000.00 to settle the case. We tried the case to a jury, while the jury was out the insurance company and the store made sure that we knew that they were no longer willing to pay that $5,000.00. We were willing to settle for a significant amount while the jury was out however, the insurance company, of course, said no. the jury ended up returning a verdict of $5 million that was offset by about 14 percent of my client’s fault. We were able to collect $4.25 million on that case for my client where facing with a $5,000.00 offer before trial.
Needless to say, that was a very rewarding case, again, because my client had significant injuries, we were able to help get a recovery that allowed her to do the things, and live the kind of life that she deserved prior to the fall.