At 10:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve, Plaintiff, while walking to work, allegedly fell on Defendant’s sidewalk as a result of an accumulation of ice covering broken and uneven concrete. Plaintiff sustained a comminuted fracture of her dominant right wrist requiring casting followed by the need for splinting, physical therapy, injection therapy, and, possibly, future surgery. Plaintiff presented medical and vocational expert testimony declaring her permanently and fully disabled. As such, Plaintiff presented a loss of earning capacity claim of $73,836 representing her inability to work her part-time job as a Certified Nursing Assistant for the remainder of her expected post-incident work-life of approximately seven years. She also sought to recover approximately $2,500 in outstanding medical expenses. Just prior to trial, Plaintiff demanded $100,000 in settlement.
Mr. Merrigan argued that Plaintiff failed to meet her burden of proof as she did not present any credible evidence that there was actually ice on Defendant’s sidewalk at the time of her alleged fall. Plaintiff failed to present any witnesses confirming the fall and/or ice accumulation, and weather records indicated that only 0.01″ of freezing rain fell approximately seven hours prior to the time of Plaintiff’s alleged fall, and that the temperature rose to well above freezing hours before Plaintiff’s alleged fall. The Defense further argued that even if there were ice on the sidewalk, Plaintiff admitted that she was well aware of it, and chose to walk on it without even considering an alternative path or doing anything to support herself while walking on the ice.
A unanimous jury found that Mr. Merrigan’s client was not negligent.