Levinson Axelrod, P.A. Partner Kim Gozsa recently secured a $1 million settlement for a client who slipped and fell on black ice in a shopping plaza parking lot.
According to court records, the incident occurred in January 2019 at a hair salon located in a shopping plaza in Lacey Township, New Jersey. After having her hair cut, Kim’s client exited the salon and walked across the sidewalk onto a handicapped section of the parking lot’s asphalt pavement. While stepping onto the asphalt ramp, Kim’s client slipped on black ice and fell onto her left leg. She sustained herniated discs in her neck requiring a two-level cervical fusion and later developed swallowing dysphasia after the surgery.
Because premises liability claims require plaintiffs to prove that a property owner knew or should have known about hazardous conditions, Kim investigated the area where the incident occurred to determine the underlying cause and how long it had existed. She subsequently discovered a roof drainage issue caused by a leaking gutter directly above the location where her client fell. Her investigation also revealed that the water dripping and forming ice was a recurrent and ongoing issue for several years.
In a lawsuit filed on behalf of her client, Kim alleged that the failure to maintain the gutter and roof drainage system allowed the concrete curb and asphalt ramp to become obstructed with clear ice in violation of adopted maintenance codes, municipal ordinances, state law, and accepted practices in the industry. While the owner of the Hair Salon stated that the gutter leak was an ongoing problem which had “always been there,” the property owner landlord denied such claims.
Thanks to her extensive investigation of the accident scene, Kim was able to overcome the defendant’s denial and successfully negotiate a $1 million settlement.
Kim Gozsa is a Partner at Levinson Axelrod, P.A. and a Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court. Backed by over two decades in practice, Kim has earned a reputation as a skilled trial lawyer and fierce advocate. Her record includes millions of dollars in compensation for clients and a number of high-value recoveries for slip and fall victims, including a $3.225 million verdict ranked as the 8th largest verdict in New Jersey in 2019, as reported by the New Jersey Law Journal.