GMR Partner Warren Holland won a Philadelphia jury trial involving a plaintiff who suffered a displaced trimalleolar ankle fracture after slipping on a wet tree root near the defendant’s sidewalk. The fracture required open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF), and the plaintiff’s recovery took almost a year. He developed post-traumatic arthritis and now has chronic ankle pain.
During cross-examination, the plaintiff admitted he saw the tree root before stepping on it, was aware it was slippery and misjudged his step. Although the tree root protruded several inches onto the defendant’s sidewalk, Warren argued it was not an unreasonably dangerous condition. The jury agreed and entered a defense verdict on liability.