Articles Posted in Slip/Trip and Fall

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LogoJonathan Friedland and his team have done it again! After extensive litigation, and right before the parties were set for trial and about to select a jury, The Friedland | Carmona accomplished a major settlement that will allow the victim and her family to live comfortably for the remainder of her life, as well as secured admission of liability from the negligent supermarket.

Here, a woman slipped and fell in a major supermarket due to a liquid substance spilled on one of its aisles. As a result of the accident, the victim sustained a patella fracture and had to be submitted to two surgeries, including an Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF) surgery. Moreover, the victim loss three months of work and now has degenerative arthritis.

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slip and fall shoulder.jpg A jury awarded a Port St. Lucie man nearly $1.3 million last Wednesday in an unusual slip-and-fall case against Wal-Mart. On May 15, 2011, 41-year-old Tom Papakalodoukas was shopping at the Wal-Mart located at 1850 S.W. Gatlin Boulevard in Port St. Lucie. As he walked down an aisle, he stepped on a Gatorade sign that had fallen from a display. Papakalodoukas fell and landed violently on his right arm, which caused the bicep tendon to tear.

In the less than two years since the fall, Papakalodoukas has undergone three major surgeries. One of these surgeries involved the insertion of a cadaver Achilles tendon into his arm, meant to aid in restoring strength. The surgeries, along with other medical visits and procedures, have cost Papakalodoukas over $200,000. As a result of the fall Papakalodoukas has also been left with a lifelong defect called a “popeye deformity,” which creates abnormal bulges on his arm. He also suffers from depression due to anxiety about his future and his health. Papakalodoukas has not been able to return to work since the fall.

Store surveillance cameras showed both the Gatorade sign falling and Papakalodoukas’ fall. Wal-Mart first placed blame on Gatorade because, according to Wal-Mart, Gatorade did not provide appropriate screws for holding the sign in place on the display. Further, Wal-Mart contended that its employees did not have time to pick up the sign in between the time that it fell and the time that Papakalodoukas slipped on it. Papakalodoukas’ attorney presented evidence that if the sign had been properly assembled on the display, there was no chance it could have fallen. The all-female jury deliberated for only four hours. It found Wal-Mart 90% at fault and awarded Papakalodoukas nearly $1.3 million. A spokesperson from Wal-Mart states that the company plans to appeal the decision.

Jury awards Port St. Lucie man $1.3 million in case against Wal-Mart, www.palmbeachpost.com February 8, 2013

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Clip.jpgIn the middle of summer, Karen Kollinger decided to take a two-night cruise to the Bahamas aboard Celebration Cruise Line’s “Bahamas Celebration” ship. The trip was anything but a celebration. On July 30, 2011, Kollinger was making her way down a staircase when “she was virtually catapulted out of her shoes,” according to her attorney. Kollinger was heading down a staircase aboard the ship when her heel got stuck under a raised metal strip that was supposed to be holding the carpet down. Kollinger fell head first down the staircase and injured her spine so severely that she required cervical spine surgery.

Kollinger filed suit against Celebration Cruise Lines in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleging that Celebration was “negligent in maintaining the stairs in a safe condition, which created a dangerous situation,” as stated by her lawyer. Papers filed with the court claim that the cruise line did not maintain the ship in a reasonably safe manner. Her attorney stated the ship was in calm waters and did not contribute to her fall. Additionally, the papers claim that Celebration failed to correct a dangerous condition that it was aware of or should have been aware of and as a result, Kollinger was injured.

Since the fall, Kollinger has amassed over $100,000 in medical bills, including expenses for her cervical spine surgery. Kollinger claims she has suffered a tremendous amount of both physical and mental pain as a result of Celebration’s negligence. The court papers did not specify the amount of damages Kollinger is seeking. Celebration has declined to comment on the suit.

Jupiter woman sues Celebration Cruise Line for negligence, damages, www.sun-sentinel.com May 9, 2012.

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wal-mart-007.jpg Miriam Fuentes, a fifty-six year old woman, was doing her routine shopping in Wal-Mart one afternoon when she slipped and fell in the middle of the store. Miriam suffered severe knee, shoulder and ankle injuries as a result of the fall, which required months of rehabilitation. Miriam contacted the Friedland | Carmona to handle her personal injury claim. The South Miami slip and fall attorneys took her case to court and recovered $394,206 for Miriam’s injuries.

In trial, Miriam’s attorneys, Jonathan Friedland and Michael Carmona, argued that another patron had taken a jug of water from a shelf and that the water was leaking from her cart for at least four minutes, creating a puddle that led to Miriam’s fall. Two Wal-Mart employees walked passed the spill on the floor, but did nothing to fix the situation. The spill was not cleaned up, nor was a “Wet Floor” sign placed anywhere near the spill. Defense counsel argued that Wal-Mart did not have time to notice the spill because the water had spilled on forty seconds before Miriam fell.

The Miami-Dade Circuit Court jury determined Wal-Mart was at fault for the accident and awarded $492,758. However, the jury concluded that Wal-Mart was only 80 percent at fault for Miriam’s fall and that she was 20 percent at fault for the fall, and thus reduced Miriam’s award to $394,206 to compensate for her injuries.

Woman who slipped on water at Wal-Mart gets $394, 206, www.dailybusinessreview.com March 2, 2012.

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IMG_0799.jpg An unidentified fourteen-year-old girl recently fell down an elevator shaft at Hollywood’s old Millennium Mall. The teen fell more than thirty feet down the dark elevator shaft. According to city officials, the girl was playing tag with five of her friends when they went into the old Jordan Marsh store at the old mall at the corner of State Road 7 and Hollywood Boulevard. She then fell down the shuttered shaft. The mall has been out of operation for some time now.

The girl was sent to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital as a trauma-alert patient, where she is recovering. The teen suffered cuts to her head and legs during the fall. According to police, she is now out of the ICU.

Hollywood Police Lt. Norris Redding has not yet determined whether any criminal charges will be filed pertaining to the accident. “The mall owner has complied with all city codes and made changes to keep trespassers from entering” after an incident in the building two years ago. The owners placed a gate around the property, but the teens jumped over a barrier and found an unlocked door to access the property.

Teen survives fall down elevator shaft at shuttered mall in Hollywood, www.sun-sentinel.com April 05, 2011.

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