$28,000 GROSS VERDICT – Absence of railing or yellow markings at walkway step-down situated on commercial premises – Fall – Ligamental tear to dominant wrist – Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Monmouth County, NJ
The female plaintiff age approximately 70, who was visiting her dentist, contended that the walkway, which contained a step-down in the area the walkway turned to the right at the end of the building, was dangerous because of the absence of either a yellow marker delineating the step-down or a railing. The plaintiff’s expert engineer maintained that the step-down should have contained either a railing, or appropriate warnings. The defendant contended that the area was safe. The defendant also contended that the plaintiff, who had been to the building numerous times in the past, was comparatively negligent at the time of the daylight accident. The plaintiff countered that she walked through this area only because she was forced to park in the back by the absence of spaces in the front lot and that she had always parked in front of the building and taken a different route on the prior occasions.
The plaintiff’s orthopedist contended that the plaintiff suffered a severe tear to the ligaments in the dominant wrist and carpal tunnel syndrome. The physician indicated that although the carpal tunnel injury could probably resolve with surgery, the ligamental tear would cause significant symptoms even if an operation were performed. The physician contended that the plaintiff will permanently suffer pain and weakness. The plaintiff maintained that she has great difficulties performing everyday tasks such as housework. The plaintiff’s orthopedist also contended that traumatic arthritis is likely. The defendant’s orthopedist found no signs of abnormalities.
The jury found the defendant 65% negligent, the plaintiff 35% comparatively negligent and awarded $25,000 to the plaintiff and $3,000 to her husband which were molded accordingly.