$58,000 Jury Verdict for Slip and Fall on Ice

Richard Villanova represented 35-year-old lab technician who tripped and fell on the exterior steps of the two-family owner-occupied residence he rented in Jersey City, causing him a fractured elbow. There had been precipitation the night before and ice had accumulated on the steps.

The lawsuit contended that the property owner did not take reasonable measures to either clear or salt the exterior steps. The defense claimed that the accident happened during an ongoing weather event and enough time had yet to pass to blame the owner for tardiness in addressing the accumulated ice on the steps. Neither party called a meteorologist witness, but records from the National Weather Service were stipulated to that established that there had been precipitation to at least 8:00 p.m. the previous evening.

The defense also blamed the accident on our client’s comparative negligence for failing to exercise reasonable caution under the circumstances. The jury allocated the negligence 85 percent to the defendant and 15 percent to the plaintiff. The damage award was $58,000 that was molded to $49,300, accounting for the comparative negligence finding.