Lawyers Secure $2.1 Million in Slip and Fall Accident
A 7-year-old girl who slipped and fell at a birthday party while bowling at SpareZ Lanes is now the proud owner of $2.1 million after her attorneys successfully argued that she suffered severe emotional damages after the surgery on her knee left her physically scarred. According to the lawsuit, the dangerous condition was far from the lanes themselves and was left on the floor in an area where spectators could watch the bowlers bowling. The girl was on her way to the arcade when she slipped on some spilled water and injured her knee.
Further, while the company had established an inspection checklist for its staff, the staff appear to have ignored it. One family member claimed that there were multiple footprints in the water.
Blaming the Victim
As sad as this is to say, the best possible defense in a lawsuit like this is to shift the blame to the injured victim. While this works in cases where you’re dealing with an adult, it becomes much harder to do when you’re dealing with a child. Children are given special dispensation to occasionally be reckless and when there is a dangerous condition left underfoot, and the bowling alley staff never bothered to check the area, it becomes quite easy for the plaintiffs to establish negligence.
In this case, the defense contended that the bowling alley was not responsible for the accident because, had the girl been more careful, she herself would have noticed the spillage. This argument, however, did not resonate well with jurors who awarded the girl $2.1 million, which is a very large settlement in a slip and fall accident claim.
Emphasizing the Emotional Costs of the Injury
Structurally, the girl’s knee turned out to be okay. Doctors were able to repair the injury but there were scars left behind from the surgery. In this case, the plaintiff’s attorneys emphasized the emotional cost of the disfigurement to the young woman’s self-image.
Months after the incident, the young woman was complaining of pain in her knee. She was taken to the doctor where they surmised that there was a loose bone fragment from the initial injury. The doctor took an MRI and eventually, a surgery was performed. The surgery did not uncover any evidence of a loose bone fragment and the doctors figured it must have fused back to the knee or never been there in the first place. As a result, the girl was left with permanent scarring to her leg and knee.
According to the plaintiffs, the emotional cost of undergoing the surgery and the subsequent scars left behind were traumatic for both the parents and their daughter. The girl suffered a prolonged period of pain in her knee during which she could not do the same things that the other children were doing.
Slip and fall accidents do not typically result in verdicts this large, but the plaintiff’s attorneys did a great job drawing attention to the emotional costs of the injury.
Talk to a Vero Beach Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve slipped and fallen in a public place that is managed by someone else, you may be able to collect damages for your injuries. Call the Vero Beach slip and fall attorneys at Vocelle & Berg, LLP today for a free consultation.