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

Slip and Fall On Water in Movie Theater — Settlement of $701,500

A woman slipped and fell in a movie theater in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, severely injuring the left side of her body and her neck. After Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. partners Garry R. Salomon and Adam B. Lederman proved that the movie theater was negligent in failing to maintain a safe environment for patrons, our client was awarded a $701,500 settlement.

The wife, mother, and newly-licensed realtor was walking to the movie theater’s restroom with her young daughter when she slipped on water that had accumulated beneath a drinking fountain. When she fell, she hit her left side against the drinking fountain and injured her left arm, knee, and neck.

The movie theater’s failure to properly maintain the drinking fountain and the area surrounding it caused severe injuries to our client’s cervical spine. She suffered bulging discs at the C2-C3, C3-C4, and C4-C5 levels, and disc herniations at the C4-C5, C5-C6, and C6-C7 levels. She also suffered meniscal tears in both her left and right knees, a distal radius fracture in her left wrist, and she developed bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. To treat her injuries, she underwent surgery and months of physical therapy.

The movie theater’s negligence permanently impaired our client’s ability to be a wife, mother, and provider for her family. She struggled to complete activities that were once part of her daily routine, including dressing herself and going up and down the stairs of her home.

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. Partners Garry R. Salomon and Adam B. Lederman retained an engineering expert, who analyzed the scene of the accident and determined the cause of the fall. The expert found that the tile floor had rusted because of years of exposure to water leakage from the drinking fountain. The expert concluded that the improper maintenance of the drinking fountain, the lack of employee action in drying the floor, and the failure to warn or redirect patrons—such as by placing a “Wet Floor” sign—created a dangerous environment and demonstrated the movie theater’s negligence.

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.

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Medical Glossary

Cervical spine: The first seven vertebrae in the spine.

Bulging disc: An extension of disc tissue past the edge of the vertebrae.

Disc herniation: A greater amount of tissue extension compared to a bulging disc.

Meniscal tear: A tear in the cartilage of the knee; commonly occurs if an individual suddenly and forcefully twists their knee.

Distal radius fracture: A fracture of the forearm’s radius bone.

Bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome: Inflamed tendons compress both hands’ median nerves, causing nerve compression injury. The injury leads to numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in the hands.