Slip and Fall on Icy Ramp
Breakstone, White & Gluck, PC
On January 16, 2015, our 49-year-old client was walking down a handicap ramp at a small commercial property in Walpole Massachusetts when she slipped and fell on ice which had accumulated on the bottom portion of the ramp. EMTs from the local fire department reported in the ambulance trip sheet that the area was covered with ice. Photographs taken by a tenant in the building shortly after the incident, showed ice hanging from a downspout next to the bottom portion of the ramp. In addition, the hand railing was absent from the part of the ramp where plaintiff fell.
As a result of the fall, plaintiff suffered a trimalleolar fracture of the ankle. She underwent open reduction internal fixation. Nine months later, she had the hardware removed due to intractable pain. After undergoing months of physical therapy and injections, she decided to undergo an ankle fusion in an attempt to mitigate the pain. Ultimately, she was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Type 1.
Plaintiff’s engineering expert was prepared to testify that the location of the incident was in a dangerous and defective condition at the time of plaintiff’s injury. First, the subject ramp had no hand railing in the location where plaintiff fell, in violation of state and local codes. Second, the presence of ice on the ramp constituted an extremely hazardous condition. Third, the absence of a diverter at the bottom of the downspout allowed water to accumulate on the bottom of the ramp and freeze. Fourth, the property manager failed to properly mitigate the ice with sand and/or salt.
Plaintiff’s meteorology expert was prepared to testify that despite the above-freezing temperatures on the morning of the incident, the location of the concrete section of the ramp at the Northwest shaded corner of the property caused the water dripping from the downspout to freeze on contact with the concrete pad at the bottom of the ramp.
Plaintiff’s personal and work life were greatly impacted by the fracture and subsequent surgery. We spent a great deal of time communicating with the client and presenting to the insurance company not only the injuries, but the damage to plaintiff’s life. The combination of proving the legal liability, presenting the medical injuries through providers and experts, and conveying the impact and damage to plaintiff’s personal life was the key to victory, and a hallmark of our advocacy.
The case settled after two days of mediation with Brian Mone of CMCI.
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Attorney Marc L. Breakstone
Attorney Marc L. Breakstone has established a reputation as one of the top medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers in Massachusetts and New England. He has been recognized as a Top 100 New England Super Lawyer, a Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyer and a Massachusetts Super Lawyer in Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice. Read more.