Our client was injured when she slipped on liquid while descending a set of stairs on the first floor of her apartment building. She sustained a severely broken wrist, which required multiple surgeries to repair, as well as fractures to her teeth.
The defendants initially chose to ignore the lawsuit. That did not stop Raphaelson & Levine. We promptly moved for a default judgment against the non-answering parties, which immediately caught their attention to participate in the lawsuit and defend the case.
The defendants defended the case by arguing that they lacked notice of the liquid that caused our client to fall, and therefore, could not be held liable for her injuries. They also argued that our client was negligent herself for failing to see that there was liquid on the steps of the building where she was a resident for over twenty years. The defendants consistently refrained from offering any settlement amount during the litigation.
We aggressively litigated the case and successfully argued that the defendants knew about the liquid on the case, or at the very least, should have known about the liquid on the steps that caused our client to fall. During depositions, it was revealed that the defendants maintained a nearby trash compactor closet in the building, which we proved was consistently overloaded with leaking garbage that ran into the steps. Uncovering this information allowed us to successfully argue that the defendants had notice of a recurrent condition. In New York, a defendant may be charged with notice of a dangerous condition when the condition is ongoing and routinely left unaddressed.
Our aggressive litigation brought the parties to the negotiating table at a mediation. Raphaelson & Levine was able to negotiate a settlement of $260,000 for our seriously injured client.
This case was exemplary of Raphaelson & Levine’s persistence and resourcefulness in pursuing complex cases. The case was handled by associate Joseph Taylor and partners Howard Raphaelson and Andrew Levine.