Slip and fall settlements are among the most common settlements awarded to plaintiffs who have suffered serious, long-term injuries from the negligence of another. In some slip and fall cases, millions of dollars have been awarded to cover present and future medical costs as well as pain and suffering.
5 Notable Slip and Fall Settlements
1. In July 2004, an elderly hospital patient named Matthew Harris broke his hip when he slipped and fell in the hospital. After being treated, Matthew’s nurse gave him a sedative and left him alone to sleep. Unfortunately, Matthew awoke later, tried to get out of bed and fell again. This time, Matthew suffered a severe head injury that caused his death. Upon discovering that Matthew had not been regularly monitored by a nurse throughout the night, his family filed a lawsuit against the hospital that eventually went to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court found the hospital was indeed negligent and awarded Matthew’s surviving family members over $2 million in damages.
2. In 2004, a jury found Trigen-Philadelphia Energy Corporation, the business responsible for maintaining the steam system underneath the city’s streets, guilty of extreme negligence when a University of Pennsylvania medical student fell into an open manhole and plunged 18 feet feet before striking the ground and suffering a permanent spine injury. A jury ruled that the Trigen-Philadephia Corporation should have known about homeless people removing manhole covers to access shelters and determined that Trigen-Philly was 99.99% at fault for the student’s injuries.
The jury awarded the former med student $18 million in damages.
3. A more unusual slip and fall lawsuit involves a New York City doorman who received a large settlement after he slipped and fell on a mass of pigeon droppings covering subway steps. According to the lawsuit, the ex-doorman suffered permanent and disabling injuries that prevented him from performing his duties as a doorman. The jury ruled that it was the responsibility of NYC subway to keep train steps safe and clean.
He was awarded $6 million in damages.
4. After stepping over a pile of snow and then slipping on ice outside his motel, train conductor Terry Sigler was awarded a hefty settlement for suffering torn cartilage in his knee that required arthroscopic surgery. Because his stay at a Super 8 Motel involved a work layover, the jury ruled that it was the fault of the Union Pacific Railroad (as mandated by the Employers’ Liability Act ) for Sigler injuries due to their failure to put him up in a safe place, even though the poorly lit parking lot was attributed to the fault of the Super 8 Motel.
Sigler was awarded $942,000.
5. In a classic slip and fall case involving a man losing his footing on an unmarked wet floor in the Steam Plant Restaurant outside Rockford, IL, a jury awarded Judd Daniels $1 million in damages, with an additional $75,000 going to his wife. Daniels told the jury that because the restaurant did not put a “wet floor” sign over the mopped area, he suffered multiple fractures in his arm and also developed a disease attributed to the fall that makes his skeleton susceptible to breaks and fractures. Read our previous blog here about wet floor signs.
Negligence Is Costly
Hundreds of thousands of slip and fall lawsuits are settled in favor of the plaintiff every year in the U.S. based on a specific area of tort law referred to as “negligence”, or harm caused by the careless (not intentional) actions of another.
If you have been injured due to slipping and falling and think you have a case of negligence, contact a slip and fall attorney to receive the compensation you deserve.