Levinson Axelrod, P.A. Partner Patrick Flinn recently secured a $1+ million-dollar premises liability verdict for a client who suffered a wrist injury after tripping and falling on an unsafe sidewalk in Union County.
As court records show, Patrick’s client had been out jogging on a Saturday morning when she tripped over a raised sidewalk slab and fell. She suffered a fracture to her right wrist and underwent two surgeries, including an open reduction and internal fixation and a subsequent procedure to remove implanted screws and plate due to complications. She now suffers from post-traumatic arthritis and experiences considerable pain, restricted motion, and limitations in her activities of daily living.
Because the defective sidewalk abutted a commercial building, Patrick pursued a premises liability action seeking compensation from both the commercial property owner and the local municipality. However, the defendants denied that they were responsible for the dangerous condition, denied that they had notice of the tripping hazard, and disputed the severity of our clients’ injuries.
Given the disputes raised by the defendants and their unwillingness to offer a fair settlement that adequately reflected our client’s permanent injuries and their impact on her life, Patrick took the case to trial. Over the course of a seven day trial, he presented evidence to the jury regarding the commercial landlord’s failure to remediate the raised sidewalk slab, how the uneven sidewalk posed a foreseeable risk of injury to pedestrians, and how the defendants were negligent in maintaining a safe premises as required by New Jersey law.
Ultimately, the jury found that the landlord and town were negligent in maintaining the sidewalk and awarded a verdict totaling $1.2 million that split fault for the incident 60/30/10 between the commercial property owner, the town and the client.
Patrick’s verdict is a testament to his determination to aggressively pursue a fair outcome for his client despite challenges from the defense, as well as the types of outcomes produced by attorneys and firms with real trial experience. It also serves as a reminder that premises owners can be held liable for injuries that result from unsafe conditions on their land through premises liability lawsuits.
Patrick J. Flinn is a Levinson Axelrod, P.A. Partner who began his career in law as a law clerk for our firm. Today, he is a proven and award-winning advocate who has leveraged his insight as a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Civil Trial Attorney to recover millions of dollars in compensation for victims in claims involving auto accidents, premises liability, serious personal injury, and wrongful death. Last fall, he secured a $500,000 settlement in a case involving an appliance repair technician who suffered an ACL tear after falling through a set of poorly constructed stairs.