Our client, a 62-year-old mother and grandmother, had just started a new job as a cashier at a racetrack and casino. She was in training to become a cage cashier. In February of 2002, she clocked into work and was given instructions to pick up a uniform from a different part of the premises. There was construction going on at the casino at the time, and our client was still unfamiliar with the grounds. As she was looking for the right elevator to take, she slipped in some glue that had been put down in preparation for laying carpet. There had been no warnings posted about the slippery glue on the floor, and our client took a very serious slip and fall.
Costly Injuries and a Difficult Legal Case Add to Stress After Fall Accident
In the fall, our client fractured her wrist, which required surgery and the insertion of pins. She also developed neck and shoulder pain related to her fall injuries, but those injuries weren’t obvious to her or her doctors when she was initially treated. However, these kinds of late-onset symptoms are fairly common in shoulder, neck and back injuries. Her doctors performed additional shoulder surgery and neck fusion surgery. All totaled, she incurred more than $110,000 in medical bills for treatment of her injuries.
Our client was living on her own when she was hurt, and she had no one to help her once she returned home. Although she had been released from the hospital, she was limited in her daily activities and needed to regularly change her bandages. She had trouble driving while she was recovering, and she had to depend on others for transportation to her medical appointments.
Our client felt overwhelmed and contacted Neblett, Beard & Arsenault for help. The legal process was very stressful for her, and it was very frustrating when the resolution of her case was repeatedly delayed by the insurance company’s denial of her claim and circumstances outside of her control. Attorney Mike Koch provided a tremendous amount of support for the client, talking her through every stage of the legal process, answering her questions, offering reassurance, and listening to what she had to say.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Obtain Award for Client in Hard-Fought Legal Case
Unfortunately, the insurance company fought against our client’s claims, making her legal case very difficult. Because the glue was laid down by a contractor, her legal case was against the insurance company for the contracting construction company and its carpet layers. The insurance company denied responsibility, alleging that the fault for our client’s injuries fell on the employer. However, Attorney Mike Koch and the legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault proved that the liability fell on the contractors. Because our client’s symptoms had not been immediately obvious, the defense denied that her neck and shoulder injuries were related to the fall. Our attorneys presented the needed medical evidence of her injuries. The defense also blamed our client for her own fall, saying that she should have seen the glue on the floor and known it might be slippery, but our attorneys presented evidence and testimony that supported her claims. During the case, one defense expert even testified, "You can't see slippery."
After a hard-fought discovery, several failed mediations, and several unavoidable continuations of the trial, the case went to a jury trial in January 2007. Before the trial, the defense offered to settle for an amount that was less than the cost of the client's medical bills. At the trial, our attorneys presented testimony from medical doctors, security guards, carpet layers, and contractors. We presented exhibits, photographs, and a video of the incident occurring. Many experts were deployed in the case, both on behalf of the client and from the defense.
Ultimately, the jury in our client’s case awarded $434,027.07 to her. However, even after the trial, the defense refused to pay and appealed the case. Attorney Mike Koch counseled the client through the appeals process, and the appellate court confirmed the decision of the lower court. The award helped our client pay her medical bills, get the help she needed, and recover from a terrible accident.
Have you been hurt in a fall on someone else’s property? Do you need help understanding your rights or working through the legal process? The attorneys with Neblett, Beard & Arsenault would be happy to answer your questions in a free case review. To get started, simply fill out our online contact form, or call our us directly at 800.256.1050.