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

Woman Slipped and Fell on Spilled Water—$500,000 Settlement

A middle-aged woman slipped and fell on spilled water in a department store in Paramus, New Jersey. Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. Partner Samuel L. Davis proved that the store and the mall center had been negligent in failing to maintain a safe environment for its patrons, and secured our client a $500,000 settlement.

Our client and her husband were at the department store shopping for a dress for their disabled daughter. The client was walking to the dress department when she slipped on a puddle of water that had accumulated near the ladies’ room. When she fell, she injured her back and both of her knees, and was taken to Hackensack Medical Center by ambulance.

Our client was diagnosed with disc bulges in her lumbar spine, at the L2-L3, L3-L4, and L4-L5 levels. She also suffered lateral and medial meniscus tears in her right knee, and a lateral meniscus tear in her left knee. She first underwent a meniscectomy and chondroplasty in her right knee, but when the pain persisted, our client underwent a total right knee replacement. Unfortunately, the replacement only worsened her condition.

The firm hired medical specialists to serve as expert witnesses. They authored narratives and provided written and oral testimony that helped prove the permanency of our client’s injuries and her entitlement to financial compensation.

Partner Samuel L. Davis also retained an engineering expert to assess liability. The expert determined that the department store and mall center had failed in several ways to protect patrons. The store failed to follow industry standards that require floor areas near bathrooms and water fountains to be frequently inspected. Moreover, the expert found that employees assigned to the nearby counter area should have been able to spot the puddle that was approximately 10-15 feet away and mitigate the hazardous condition. He also found the store’s investigation of the fall deficient, as the Store Manager had failed to interview employees and other witnesses about the fall.

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. Partner Samuel L. Davis sued the department store and mall center in the Bergen County Superior Court, and secured our client a $500,000 settlement for her injuries, 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.

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Medical Glossary

Disc Bulge: An extension of disc tissue past the edge of the vertebrae.

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

Meniscectomy: Surgical removal of the meniscus.

Chondroplasty: Surgical removal of damaged cartilage.