$225,000 Premises Liability Slip and Fall at Restaurant Doorway – Knee Fracture


Premises Liability

Settlement Amount $225,000Attorney David W. White Jr.

Case Summary: Plaintiff injured when exiting restaurant; slip and fall on entranceway defect; femur fracture with surgical repair.

Our client, a frequent customer of a North Shore restaurant and bar, suffered a severe leg injury when he slipped on a metal plate that was located at the exit doorway of the restaurant.

Client Review:  David secured a settlement for me that is at the top of what could be expected for my particular circumstances and did it in a professional and supportive manner. Don’t hire any attorney until you speak with David White – you’ll be glad you did.

The metal plate, made from metal commonly known as “diamond plate,” was placed right at the exit between the vestibule and the exterior sidewalk. The plate, which was about twelve inches long and the width of the door, was placed to cover a height difference between the threshold and the sidewalk at the handicap entrance. The plate formed a short ramp. To the casual observer, it looked like a reasonably decent repair (though a far better repair would have been to fix the sidewalk itself). But, according to the expert witness we retained, the steep angle of the small ramp was actually a violation of the building codes regarding handicap access. Then steep angle made the metal ramp dangerous.

On the night of the accident, the weather was cold and very damp. The temperature hovered around freezing, and there was a steady drizzle. These were perfect conditions for making the ramp even more dangerous by making it slippery. It was foreseeable that moisture would make the ramp slippery.

After an evening at the restaurant, our client was leaving to go home. As he stepped out of the vestibule onto the metal ramp, his foot slipped out and his leg twisted beneath him. He had previously had his right knee replaced, and the accident caused his femur (the thigh bone) to fracture around his artificial knee.

Our client required a surgical repair of the knee, followed by an extensive period of rehabilitation. Our client was not working at the time, so he did not suffer any loss of earning capacity.

Claim was brought against the restaurant. When the case did not settle, suit was filed. While the matter was in the early phase of the written discovery period, efforts were once again undertaken to resolve the matter by settlement.

The defendant alleged that the plaintiff had used the door many times before, as had others, without any problems. They alleged the condition was not dangerous. They also contested the extent of the damages, and whether all of the damages were related to the accident. Nevertheless, the matter was settled without trial and before extensive discovery had to be completed.

Keys to the settlement of this case included the analysis by our expert witness regarding the building code violation. The plaintiff also was seen by an orthopedic surgeon retained by our firm who provided a detailed medical report focused on the permanent limitations the plaintiff would endure.

About Attorney David W. White

To learn more about Attorney David W. White, visit his bio page. Attorney White is a past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association and has distinguished himself for his advocacy on behalf of his clients and his leadership among Massachusetts lawyers. He has been consistently recognized as a Top 100 Super Lawyer in New England and Massachusetts, as well as a Super Lawyer in the field of personal injury.