Last month, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a Connecticut slip-and-fall case requiring the court to determine if the lower court was proper in ruling that the plaintiff proved her case against the defendant hospital. Ultimately, the court affirmed the lower court’s verdict in favor of the plaintiff, finding that the defendant’s challenges to the lower court’s rulings were without merit.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was visiting a loved one at a hospital owned and operated by the defendant. The plaintiff was on her way out of the hospital, walking on a sidewalk on hospital property, when she stubbed her toe. This caused her to fall to the ground, resulting in serious lower back injuries. Additionally, she broke her toe when she stubbed it against the object. The plaintiff did not see what caused her fall.
The plaintiff filed a Connecticut personal injury lawsuit against the hospital, arguing that the hospital should have not allowed the divot in the pavement to remain or should have warned about its presence. The plaintiff claimed that the hospital’s failure to fix the defect or warn her about it resulted in her tripping and injuring herself.
At trial, the plaintiff testified and also presented the testimony of several other witnesses. The testimony established that there was a small but visible divot in the pavement that was a result of a crack in the sidewalk. There was no evidence suggesting there were any other defects on or around the area where the plaintiff fell. There was also testimony stating that there were no warning signs near the divot. The plaintiff also provided photographs of the divot to the lower court.
A judge, sitting in place of a jury, found that the plaintiff proved her case against the hospital and entered a verdict of $108,000 in her favor. The defendant appealed, arguing that the defect was not reasonably foreseeable and that the plaintiff did not establish that the divot was the cause of her injuries. The defendant claimed that the plaintiff’s allegation that “something” caused her to fall was insufficient to establish that it was the divot in the photograph.
The court disagreed, finding that the plaintiff’s evidence showed that a defect was indeed present and visible to passersby. Furthermore, the court explained that the plaintiff’s evidence allowed the court to make inferences leading it to the conclusion that it was indeed the divot that caused the plaintiff’s fall. The court considered the fact that an independent witness noted that there were no other defects present in the area, that the plaintiff’s description of her stubbing her toe on “something” was consistent with her theory that it was the divot, and that the divot’s location was in the immediate area of where the plaintiff fell.
Have You Been Injured in a Connecticut Slip-and-Fall Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Connecticut slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. While slip-and-fall cases may seem straightforward at first glance, there are often many complex legal issues that arise during the course of the case. It is important that you make sure you have an experienced attorney at your side, who can advise you throughout the process. The Law Office of Ann Halan Brickley represents clients in all types of Connecticut personal injury cases across the state, including in New Canaan, Wilton, Norwalk, Darien, and all of Fairfield County. We have extensive experience handling Connecticut slip-and-fall cases, and we are happy to meet with you to discuss your case free of charge. Call 203-599-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.