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

Man Injured After Trip and Fall into Pothole- $700,000 Settlement

In Paterson, New Jersey, a man suffered severe injuries when he tripped and fell into a pothole on the road. While walking through the intersection of River Street and 2nd Avenue, he tripped on uneven asphalt on the sidewalk, causing him to lose balance and stumble forward. His foot was then caught in a pothole on the street, causing him to fall. Davis, Saperstein and Salomon, P.C. Partner Paul A. Garfield filed suit in The Superior Court of New Jersey, Passaic County, proved that the town and property owners were reckless and negligent in failing to efficiently maintain and supervise their owned sidewalk and roads, and won the client a $700,000 settlement.

The man was unable to move after his fall and was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey. He suffered injuries to his lower back, neck, and right leg, and was diagnosed with two ACL tears, torn medial meniscus in his right leg, multiple lumbar spine disc bulges, lumbar radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, and lumbar spine spondylosyndesis. To treat his right knee, he underwent two right knee arthroscopies with hardware and received multiple lidocaine injections. For his back, he underwent lumbar spine surgery with fusion and open reduction and internal fixation, a spinal cord stimulator surgery, and received multiple lower back injections. The client also completed extensive physical therapy to improve his condition.

Davis, Saperstein and Salomon, P.C. retained medical experts to author narrative reports proving the permanent nature of the client’s condition. The experts also stated that the accident aggravated former underlying injuries the client had in his neck, arms, shoulders, and left foot. The firm hired a vocational rehabilitation expert and an economist to analyze the future employability of the man, and to determine his loss in future earning capacity. The experts found that the man’s injuries caused working limitations, resulting in a loss of total future earning capacity of several hundred thousand dollars. To prove proximate causation, Paul A. Garfield hired an engineering expert. After referring to the BOCA Building Code, the expert found that the slope of the sidewalk exceeded the mandated limit, creating a hazardous walking surface. Additionally, the expert determined that the combination of the pitch of the sidewalk and the steepness made worse by loose pavement sections, led to the client’s fall. He opined that if the building’s management and town followed safety codes and regulations by regularly maintaining and monitoring the sidewalk’s condition, the accident could have been avoided.

The experts’ reports helped Davis, Saperstein and Salomon, P.C. Partner Paul A. Garfield win the client a settlement for his medical bills, loss in income, and pain and suffering.

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 was 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:

ACL Tears: ACL tears refer to injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament, a ligament in the knee that helps stabilize it. These tears usually occur during activities involving sudden stops or changes in direction, causing pain, swelling, and instability in the knee joint.

Medial Meniscus Tear: A medial meniscus tear happens when the cartilage in the inner part of the knee joint gets injured or torn. This injury can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty moving the knee, especially when twisting or pivoting.

Disc Bulges: Disc bulges occur when the soft cushioning discs between the vertebrae in the spine bulge out of their normal position, often due to wear and tear or injury. These bulges can put pressure on nearby nerves, causing pain, weakness, or numbness in the back, neck, or limbs.

Lumbar Radiculopathy: Lumbar radiculopathy, also known as sciatica, refers to the pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down to the legs. It usually occurs due to compression or irritation of the nerve roots in the lower spine, leading to sharp or shooting pain, tingling, or numbness in the back and leg.

Spinal Stenosis: Spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by the narrowing of the spaces within the spine, which can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. This can cause pain, weakness, or numbness in the back, legs, or arms, along with difficulty walking or maintaining balance.

Lumbar Spine Spondylosyndesis: Lumbar spine spondylosyndesis is a surgical procedure performed to treat instability or deformity in the lower spine. It involves fusing two or more vertebrae together using bone grafts or implants to provide stability and reduce pain.

Knee Arthroscopies: Knee arthroscopies are minimally invasive surgical procedures performed to diagnose and treat various knee problems. It involves inserting a small camera and surgical instruments through small incisions in the knee to visualize and repair damaged structures such as ligaments, cartilage, or menisci.

Lidocaine Injections: Lidocaine injections are a type of local anesthesia that is used to numb a specific area of the body before a medical procedure. It is often injected into the skin or tissues to block pain signals temporarily, providing pain relief during procedures like suturing or dental work.

Fusion: Fusion is a surgical procedure that joins two or more bones together permanently to eliminate movement between them. It is commonly done to stabilize the spine or joints that are causing pain or instability due to conditions such as fractures, arthritis, or deformities.

Open Reduction and Internal Fixation: Open reduction and internal fixation is a surgical procedure performed to treat fractures by aligning the broken bones and stabilizing them using metal plates, screws, or rods. This procedure helps the bones heal correctly by providing stability and support during the healing process.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Surgery: Spinal cord stimulator surgery is a procedure performed to relieve chronic pain by implanting a device near the spinal cord. This device delivers mild electrical pulses to interfere with pain signals, helping to manage chronic pain conditions such as failed back surgery syndrome or neuropathic pain.