Joe Petka continues his defense verdict streak winning another Philadelphia jury trial for a major hospital system. The case involved a 56-year-old widow, who slipped and fell on an unknown clear liquid that was on the floor of the hospital hallway. The plaintiff presented to the emergency room immediately after the fall and then presented again 3 days later where she complained of right shoulder pain. She received an MRI of her right shoulder which was read to show a full thickness tear of the supraspinatus tendon. Accordingly, Plaintiff was diagnosed with a right shoulder tear, which was undisputed by Defendant’s experts. Ultimately, Plaintiff underwent surgery to fix the tear in her shoulder. Following the surgery, she received a course of physical therapy. At trial, the plaintiff testified that she continued to experience frequent right shoulder pain and could no longer shower by herself, put on a bra by herself, or babysit her grandkids.
The main issue during the trial was whether there was liability on the hospital. The plaintiff argued that the cleaning personnel arrived at the scene in less than a minute after the fall, which she claimed suggested that they already had notice of the liquid, and failed to warn plaintiff about it. For the defense, Joe presented evidence that the hospital had no notice of the liquid and consequently, he argued that the hospital did not have liability for plaintiff’s injuries.
The jury of 9 men and 3 women agreed with Joe’s argument and found that the hospital was not negligent.