*Note: The plaintiff and defendant’s names have been altered to protect their identities.
Javier (the plaintiff) was a business invitee to Local Restaurant (the defendant). At about 5 p.m., Javier went to the restroom prior to being seated. When he entered the restroom and attempted to walk toward the urinals, he immediately slipped on a puddle of water that existed on the restroom floor. As he fell, Javier slammed his right shoulder against the base of the sink, then landed on his back on the floor.
The damages sustained from the accident were a labral tear with biceps tendon split and a SLAP type 2 complex lesion, as well as adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) as a side effect that resulted from a necessary surgery relating to the injury. Javier also underwent surgeries, months of physical therapy, several rounds of MRIs and CT arthrograms, a series of injections and more, though still was required to keep his right arm completely stationary in a sling for several weeks at a time.
Liability rested with the defendant, and we believed the following duties were owed to Javier:
- To warn of the existence of the wet floor, of which they had or should have had greater knowledge than that of Javier
- To protect Javier from foreseeable risks
- To use reasonable care in maintaining their premises
- To warn of the dangerous condition
- To place floor mats or warning signs at the appropriate places in the restaurant
Liability was clear because:
- The defendant knew that people would be walking in this area of the restaurant
- The defendant’s agents and/or employees should have taken reasonable steps to alert their customers of the dangerous condition and use warning signs and/or cones
- The defendant’s agents and/or employees failed to protect Javier from reasonable foreseeable risks
- Rather than warn its customers, agents and/or employees, the defendant chose to ignore the dangerous condition
- The defendant’s agents and/or employees failed to place warning signs and/or floor mats at the appropriate locations of the restaurant
As a result of the incident, Javier’s medical expenses totaled to more than $125,000, not including the expense of flying his mother back and forth from New York to come assist him in everyday tasks he could no longer perform for himself, or any other lost income associated with the accident.
The case was resolved for a total of $250,000.00.