Premises Liability – Injuries on Property

Premises liability – defective pedestrian path

Settlement after discovery for woman who suffered a displaced ankle fracture requiring multiple surgeries while walking on a worn path at an office building in Cambridge. During the case, the defendant property owner and property management company claimed to have no knowledge of the existence of the defective and dangerous path on the property. SUGARMAN’s attorneys, however, were able to demonstrate that the path had long been on the property such that the defendants should have known about it and that the defendants failed to take any steps to remedy or improve the path until after the incident.

Contractor held liable for injuries at condominium complex

Eve of trial settlement obtained for Chelmsford condo association resident who sustained an ankle fracture requiring surgery after she slipped and fell on ice at the complex. The snow and ice contractor failed to comply with its contract with the association that required the contractor to be on site every day to monitor the property and treat any snow and ice.

Building Code violation leads to fractures and surgeries

Recovery for 30-year-old woman who lost her balance on an office stairway and was unable to catch herself because the building owner had covered the railing with a curtain, leading to her falling and suffering severe injuries. The client’s claim for personal injuries included her damages for bilateral elbow fractures that required multiple surgeries to correct.

Vacationer injures leg at rental property

Pre-suit settlement for vacationer who suffered a significant cut to his leg requiring surgery and an Achilles tendon tear when a piece of the stone slab broke away from the kitchen island in the beach house he had rented on Martha’s Vineyard.

Premises liability – multiple back and neck surgeries due to fall on ice

Significant pre-trial settlement for truck driver who slipped on a patch of ice at a property in Lynn, Massachusetts while she was making a delivery. Suit was brought against the property owner and the snow and ice contractor who had been hired to perform work during the winter.

Premises Liability – Injuries on Property

Many accidents and injuries are caused by defective conditions or other negligence on residential and commercial property. Property-related accident cases can range from simple defects, such as a defective railing, stairway, step, or deck, to the most complex mechanical and design defects resulting in fires, explosions, and electrocutions. As one of the oldest and largest personal injury firms in Massachusetts, SUGARMAN’s accident attorneys have a broad range of experience litigating property-related injuries and coming to a premise liability settlement.

David v. Kelly, 100 Mass. App. Ct 443 (2021)

The Massachusetts Appeals Court upheld judgment after SUGARMAN attorneys obtained a jury verdict for their client who had suffered a dog bite while in the course of his employment as a letter carrier.

Jury verdict in premises liability case

In one of the first civil trials following the lifting of the COVID-19 court closures, SUGARMAN partner David McCormack obtained a jury verdict for a client who sustained a severe femur fracture after slipping on ice at the corporate defendant’s property. For several days following a snowstorm, the defendant and its employees failed to inspect the property, a busy gas station and convenience store in Lowell, and failed to find and treat the ice that caused the plaintiff to slip and fall. The jury, sitting for Middlesex Superior Court in Lowell, returned a verdict in favor of SUGARMAN’s client after just 3 hours of deliberations.

Loading dock worker injured neck due to slip and fall on ice

Settlement for plaintiff against owner of loading dock for failure to properly remove ice from walking surfaces, causing fall and neck injury requiring cervical fusion surgery.

Settlement for visitor after condo association and tenants failed to light pathway

Pre-trial settlement on behalf of a woman who suffered a significant ankle fracture when she fell after missing a step while walking down a dark pathway at a beach cottage. The cottage, located in Bourne on Cape Cod, was part of a large condominium association which failed to install lighting on the common pathways that weaved among the cottages, despite recommendations to do so years prior. In addition to the condo association, the plaintiff brought claims against the cottage tenants, as they knew of the poor lighting conditions and knew people would be on the pathway that night, but failed to turn on the exterior lighting for the cottage. The plaintiff underwent four surgeries on her ankle and has residual pain and stiffness nearly four years later.

Bowers v. P. Wile’s, Inc., 475 Mass. 34 (2016)

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court affirmed the Appellate Court’s decision to reverse the trial court’s entry of summary judgment. SUGARMAN attorneys represented a woman who was caused to slip and fall on a stone that had been kicked loose from the defendant store’s self-service display area, a hazard that the store was well aware of for several years. The Supreme Judicial Court agreed with SUGARMAN’s attorneys that the “mode of operation” analysis applied to the facts of the case, vacated the judgment in favor of the defendant and remanded the case back to the Superior Court for further proceedings.

Town building inspector slips on ice during inspection

Settlement for a town building inspector who slipped on an icy unpaved driveway while performing an inspection of the defendant’s property, resulting in severe and permanent leg injuries that rendered him totally disabled from performing his job as a building inspector.

Slope failure causes property damage

Settlement in nuisance and negligent trespass case for plaintiffs who sustained significant property damage and resulting loss of business income when a massive earthen slope broke free during an extensive rain storm. The slope failure occurred due to a neighboring landowner’s failure to properly maintain its land, which led to the formation of unnatural depressions on the land that pooled water and over-saturated the adjacent slope during the rain storm.

Ankle fracture after fall

Settlement for a woman after she slipped and fell on ice which had accumulated on the walkway of her condominium in a 55+ community northeast of Boston. SUGARMAN’s attorneys established that the condo association failed to take proper precautions to salt and sand the areas where residents would walk. The case settled at mediation.

Electrician slips and falls on ice outside work

Pre-trial settlement for electrician who slipped on a large patch of ice in the parking lot of his work and suffered a severe ankle fracture which prevented him from returning to work. The owner of the property knew for many years that water would leak out of a pipe on the side of the commercial building and then freeze in the parking lot, but took no steps to remedy it.

Failure to maintain equipment – Power plant accident causes worker’s injuries

Settlement against power plant and safety contractor for twenty-six-year-old boilermaker apprentice who was severely injured when he was violently sucked into a boiler drum which had not been properly de-energized for contractor work during an annual shutdown.

Nursing home guest slips on ice leaving facility

Settlement for a middle-aged woman who slipped and fell on an ice patch at the entrance to the defendant’s nursing home resulting in a rotator cuff tear requiring surgical repair, and back injuries. The client had been visiting her elderly father at the nursing home.

Trip and fall in supermarket parking lot

Settlement reached with owner of parking lot on behalf of an 85-year-old women who suffered a left femur fracture. The injury occurred when the woman tripped on an uneven surface in the parking lot.

Slip on ice by grocery clerk

Settlement reached for a grocery clerk who slipped on ice in the employee parking lot as he was leaving work for the day, resulting in quadriplegic injuries.

Collapse of earthen containment dike at tank farm

Settlement for worker who fractured his ankle when walking on a dike that collapsed. SUGARMAN’s attorneys were able to demonstrate that the property owner had failed to perform needed maintenance and repairs to the dike.

Defective apartment window screen

Settlement of personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer and seller of the defective screen, and the landlord. A toddler fell out of a third-floor apartment window due to dangerous design, installation, and maintenance of the window screen, resulting in severe brain and orthopedic injuries to the child.

Courtemanche v. AT&T Co., 47 Mass. App. Ct. 1110 (1999)

The dismissal of the plaintiff’s case by the trial court was reversed, and a new trial was ordered. In the Appellate Court, SUGARMAN lawyers successfully argued that the plaintiff had shown sufficient evidence, and that a jury could reasonably infer that the accident was caused by the defendant’s negligence.

Tryon v. City of Lowell, 29 Mass. App. Ct. 720 (1991)

The Superior Court’s judgment for the defendant was overturned because the extent of the duty owed by the City to an injured child was a question of fact for the jury to determine, and the defendant could not avoid liability under the discretionary function exemption of the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act (G. L. c. 258, §10(b)). At trial, the jury awarded the plaintiffs damages for injuries to a child trespasser after his arm was run over by a train as he walked along railroad tracks on his way to school.

Karlin v. Massachusetts Turnpike Auth., 399 Mass. 765 (1987)

SUGARMAN lawyers won appeal, which established that the Turnpike Authority was not immune from a suit in which it caused a quadriplegic injury, and that the amount of recovery was not limited by statute.