A cable TV worker was sent to a condominium complex in Milford to do an installation. When leaving the building, he slipped and fell on ice hittting his head and injuring his back. The ice had apparently bee there for days, maybe even weeks.
Pictures taken the day of the fall were evidence of how poorly maintained the area was.
In addition, condo maintenance workers acknowledged that the steps were prone to ice buildup caused by a water overflow from the gutters above. The workers would sand the area daily but never made efforts to chop up or remove the ice.
The injured worker was 34 only years old and despite two surgeries, he still had a 40% permanent partial disability of his back. As a result, it was unlikely that he would be able to work for longer than four hours at a time and therefore would be relegated to sedentary work.
A vocational expert opined that the injury would cost the worker in excess of $1 million in lost earning capacity. Furthermore, the cost of future of medical care was estimated at $600,000.
Generally, slip and fall cases require the injured party to prove:
- There was a dangerous condition (i.e. ice, safety violations);
- The owner of the property (and/or or his agents) knew or should have known of the dangerous condition;
- The owner of the property (and/or his agents) failed to act as an ordinary prudent person in cleaning or fixing the condition.
#2 is usually the hardest to prove. In this case, the pictures and the admissions of the maintenance workers were invaluable in satisfying this requirement.