Earlier this month, an appellate court in Connecticut issued a written opinion that will be of interest to those considering filing a Washington, D.C. premises liability lawsuit. The case presented the court with the opportunity to determine whether a lower court was proper to enter judgment in favor of the plaintiff under the specific facts present in the case. Ultimately, the appellate court concluded that the plaintiff did present sufficient evidence to warrant a finding in her favor. As a result, the defendant hospital’s appeal was dismissed.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was visiting a family member at the defendant hospital. After her visit, the plaintiff was walking out of the hospital when she stubbed her toe on a piece of broken pavement on the sidewalk. The plaintiff fell to the ground, and it was later determined that she had broken her toe in the accident. She also suffered lower back pain as a result of the fall.
The plaintiff filed a premises liability lawsuit against the hospital, claiming that the hospital was negligent in safely maintaining the sidewalk area and that the hospital’s failure to do so resulted in her injuries. The parties opted to have the case decided by a judge, rather than by a jury, and after hearing the evidence, the court entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff. The court determined that the plaintiff’s injuries were approximately $180,000; however, since the court also determined that the plaintiff was 40% responsible for her injuries, the award was reduced by that percentage to a total award amount of approximately $108,000.
The defendant appealed the court’s finding of liability to a higher court, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the defect in the pavement was a foreseeable hazard and that the defect was the actual cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. The appellate court disagreed with the defendant and affirmed the lower court’s finding of liability. The court explained that the plaintiff presented evidence – through testimony and photographic evidence – that the defect in the pavement was significant enough to be noticeable to passersby. As a result, it was reasonable that through a cursory inspection, the hospital staff should have noticed the defect.
Similarly, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s evidence supported the lower court’s finding that the defect was the cause of her injuries. The court determined that the testimony of the various witnesses, as well as a lack of alternative explanations for the plaintiff’s fall, justified the lower court’s finding of liability.
Have You Been a Victim of a Washington, D.C. Slip-and-Fall Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently slipped and fallen on another party’s property, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Washington, D.C. premises liability lawsuit. The dedicated Washington, D.C. personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in a wide range of personal injury cases, including slip-and-fall accidents. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney today. Calling is free and will not result in any obligation to you or your family unless we are able to successfully help you recover compensation for your injuries.
More Blog Posts:
The Importance of a Thorough Investigation in Washington, D.C. Car Accident Cases, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, July 11, 2017
Court Discusses Expert Witness Testimony in Recent Car Accident Case, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, August 2, 2017