Sep 15th, 2015

Tried for five days a slip-and-fall case

Shareholder Christopher Drotzmann tried a slip-and-fall case, which resulted in a five-day trial. Plaintiff fell on a public sidewalk and contended it was due to a faulty meter box in the sidewalk. Plaintiff sued the City which was responsible for the maintenance and repair of the meter box and sidewalk, and sued the firm’s client who read the meter and was to report, by contract, any conditions with the meter or meter box to the City. The City filed a cross-claim against the firm’s client for indemnity and defense. Plaintiff sought $1,650,000 in damages associated with a triple neck surgery, fractured arm, and shoulder surgery which she claimed were caused by the fall. Chris successfully defeated the City’s cross-claim on motion practice and had the City’s expert’s novel theory of liability against the firm’s client stricken by the trial judge. Plaintiff demanded $400,000 to settle pretrial. The jury awarded plaintiff total damages of $264,994, but found plaintiff and the City each 45 percent at fault and the firm’s client only 10 percent at fault. Post-trial motions seeking attorney fees against the City on the failed cross-claim are pending.