Jury Returns $229,651 Verdict for Baldwin, Briscoe &
Steinmetz Client in Slip and Fall Case
a good day in court for Celeste Newland on April 12, 2018. After a two day trial, a Saint Mary’s County jury
returned a verdict in the amount of $229,651.
Mrs. Newland suffered a fractured patella when she slipped and fell on a
banana peel in the Sheetz parking lot in Lexington Park, MD.
deliberating for approximately two hours, the jury returned a verdict covering all
of her medical bills and providing $200,000 for pain and suffering
just before trial that the store had been negligent in failing to inspect, and
clean up its parking lot, Sheetz argued that it should not be held responsible
for the plaintiff’s injuries because the plaintiff was contributorily negligent
and assumed the risk of her injuries.
plaintiff testified in the case explaining the significant physical and
emotional trauma that have affected her since the injury which occurred in
December, 2013. As a business invitee,
the store owed the plaintiff a duty of reasonable care to maintain a safe premises
and to warn her of any latent defects.
addition to the testimony of the plaintiff, Dr. Ehsan
Abdeshahian, the plaintiff’s
pain management doctor testified in the plaintiff’s case. The
defendant chose not to call any witnesses in its case.
defendant argued that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent, and assumed
the risk of injury and therefore that she should not be able to recover as a
matter of law. Under Maryland law, both
contributory negligence and assumption of risk are affirmative defenses which
would prevent the plaintiff from recovering any money.
conclusion of the case, plaintiff requested and was granted a partially
directed verdict on the question of whether or not Mrs. Newland assumed the
risk of her injury. Judge Karen Abrams
ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support the claim that she
assumed the risk of injury and that as such, that question would not be decided
by the jury. Instead, the jury was left
to decide whether Mrs. Newland was contributorily negligent, and if what amount
of damages would be awarded, if any.
Steinmetz, who represented Mrs. Newland in the case pointed out to the jury
that the defendant had made inconsistent arguments about what happened and therefore
should be discredited. The defendant’s
argument that she was contributorily negligent, for not using due care and
looking where she was walking was factually inconsistent with another argument
they made, that she assumed the risk of injury.
When a party assumes the risk of injury, they voluntarily chooses to
encounter a known risk.
several factors which made this a good case to take to trial. First, the plaintiff was fortunate inasmuch as
the incident was captured on the store’s security surveillance cameras. Thus the jury got to actually see the fall. Second, the injury was significant and
discrete. Plaintiff suffered a fracture
of the patella. Finally, the defendant’s
attempt to shift the blame to the plaintiff simply didn’t seem to sit well with
are significantly injured in a slip and fall, an automobile accident, or any
other type of accident, because another person was not careful, you may be
entitled to monetary damages for your medical expenses and pain and
suffering. Contact our office today for
a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your injury claim.
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