Largest Reported NJ Personal Injury Settlement during the Court’s 2022-2023 term

Elderly Woman Trips and Falls on Improperly-Constructed Curb—$500,000 Settlement

While exiting a restaurant in Jersey City, New Jersey, an elderly woman tripped and fell on the steeply sloped edge of a sidewalk. After Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. partner Paul A. Garfield demonstrated that the restaurant had been negligent in their failure to properly maintain its property such that it was free of walking hazards, our client was awarded a $500,000 settlement.

The woman left the restaurant with her daughter and grandson. While walking to the restaurant’s parking lot, she tripped on the poorly-constructed sidewalk curb and injured the right side of her body. A good Samaritan assisted them and called an ambulance to transport the woman to the Jersey City Medical Center.

The accident caused our client to severely injure her right ankle, right wrist, and left arm. In her ankle, she suffered multiple fractures to her tibia and fibula and a displaced fracture of her medial malleolus. In her wrist, she suffered an acute fracture of her distal radius, while her arm sustained an acute badly comminuted displaced fracture at the distal left humerus and an avulsion fracture of the ulnar bone. Our client underwent two surgical procedures to treat her injuries: an open reduction internal fixation of the tibia and fibula with reduction of the ankle, and a left total elbow arthroplasty that included triceps repair and radial head resection. She spent several weeks at an inpatient rehabilitation facility, and after being discharged, underwent months of physical therapy.

Since the accident, the woman’s physical activity has been severely limited. While she has been able to return to her work as a secretary, she had difficulty typing and is unable to reach or stretch. The client continues to suffer from ankle pain; on some mornings, she is unable to get out of bed without the assistance of her cane.

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. partner Paul A. Garfield retained an engineering expert to assess liability in this case. The expert found that the restaurant owner had violated NJDOT standards, which require sidewalks to end with a true vertical curb, as opposed to the steeply sloping sidewalk edge that our client tripped on. The expert found that the owner had foregone their duty to provide walkways that were proper and safe by industry standards and reasonable safety practices.

Partner Paul A. Garfield ensured that our client received proper compensation for her pain and suffering, in the form of a $500,000 settlement.

Settlements are often limited by the total available insurance coverage. Insurance company adjusters and their lawyers often defend cases by claiming that a client was negligent and could have avoided being injured by arguing comparative negligence on the part of an injured client; or that their pain and suffering were caused by pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries. Despite those defenses, the Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, PC lawyers won their client’s injury claim. Each client’s case is unique. Results may differ because of different facts, circumstances, and available insurance coverage.

Call us now for a free and confidential case evaluation. We are also available 24/7 online at our website.

Medical Glossary

  • Medial malleolus: The end of the tibia, commonly known as the bump that protrudes on an individual’s ankle.
  • Distal radius: The end of the forearm bone (the radius).
  • Comminuted fracture: When a bone fractures into several pieces, as opposed to only two.
  • Avulsion fracture: Occurs when a small piece of bone attached to a tendon or ligament is pulled away from the main part of the bone.
  • Open reduction internal fixation: A two-step surgical procedure, involving an incision and the implantation of hardware to stabilize/fixate.
  • Elbow arthroplasty: The damaged parts of the humerus and ulna are removed and replaced with hardware.
  • Radial head resection: The removal of the radial head.