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Result: Mark Kuminski and Kelley Lavery Recover $1,625,000.00 Premises Liability Settlement During Trial

$1.6 Million Settlement

Levinson Axelrod, P.A. Partners Mark Kuminski and Kelley Lavery recently secured a $1,625,000.00 mid-trial settlement in a case which was handled by our Jamesburg office.

Mark and Kelley represented a Hazlet woman who was injured when she slipped and fell on a wet floor in the common area women’s restroom at work. While no one was present, the tile floor was wet and appeared to have recently been mopped and left unattended. There were no wet floor signs, nor had the bathroom been blocked or closed off.

As a result of her fall, our client suffered a recurrent disc herniation in her lower back at the same level that she had previously undergone surgery eight years earlier. Because of the accident, she was required to undergo a second surgery at the same level. When that surgery failed to cure her condition, she likewise underwent an additional surgery to her sacroiliac joint.

Investigation, Claims & Trial

While the restroom floor was wet at the time of the plaintiff’s fall, no one else was present, nor was there any cleaning equipment or personnel present to indicate how the water had gotten there. Defendants denied having mopped the floor, arguing that they were not present in the building at the time and therefore there was no evidence linking them to the water. While the defendants were not scheduled to mop the floor at that time, the water nevertheless had the appearance of being a freshly mopped floor. Even without any direct evidence linking the defendants to the wet floor, Mark and Kelley were able to establish that the floor must have been mopped due to the fact that the water was evenly distributed throughout the entire bathroom, and there were streaks throughout same. As the defendant cleaning company was solely responsible for mopping the floor, we argued that they must have been the ones who had mopped the floor. As the cleaning company lacked sufficient liability insurance coverage to adequately compensate the plaintiff for all of her injuries, it was important that Mark and Kelley were able to likewise establish that he owner and operator of the commercial property were also responsible for the actions of the independent contractor cleaning company.

As this accident occurred while our client was working in the course of her employment, she was likewise entitled to bring an additional claim for workers compensation benefits. That claim is being handled separately and will result in an additional, separate recovery. Normally, workers’ compensation is the sole legal remedy for workers injured on the job. However, there are times when injured workers can pursue claims outside of the workers’ compensation system – with one of those exceptions being accidents caused by the negligence of a third party. In this case, Mark and Kelley were able to establish that entities other than the plaintiff’s employer were responsible for the inspection and maintenance of the bathroom in question. As a result, our client will likewise receive a second recovery through her workers compensation claim.

Mark and Kelley filed our client’s premises liability lawsuit against the owner of the building, the property manager, and the custodial company, over claims that they failed to ensure the property was maintained in a reasonably safe condition, free from unreasonable hazards. The case was tried before a jury in the Superior Court of Monmouth County, and settled on the sixth day of trial for a total of $1,625,000.00.

This case was a significant recovery that will help our client cover losses associated with her surgeries and treatment, missed wages, and ongoing pain and suffering. It’s also a result that speaks volumes about the importance of working with skilled attorneys who can effectively investigate accidents and help clients pursue claims through channels that allow them to secure the maximum compensation possible.

Mark Kuminski and Kelley Lavery are both partners with the law firm of Levinson Axelrod, P.A. Combined they have decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured accident victims and their families throughout New Jersey. Together, the two have leveraged their extensive insight and experience to help our clients recover millions of dollars in compensation in complex legal claims involving motor vehicle accidents, construction site accidents, premises liability claims, and other serious personal injury matters, including wrongful death claims and more.

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