A client of ours suffered a torn rotator cuff when she slipped and fell on dangerous ice left untreated in a commercial parking lot in Norton, Massachusetts. We filed a personal injury lawsuit on her behalf and later settled the case for $90,000.00.
How the Accident Happened
On a very cold morning, our client drove to a commercial property in Norton, Massachusetts. When she got out of her car in the parking lot she began to walk toward the building. As she walked, she noticed that the parking lot was sheer ice. She didn’t realize it beforehand because the parking lot was covered with dangerous black ice. She tried to turn back and walk off the ice, but slipped and fell on her side.
The Injury and Treatment
This client went to the doctor right away after falling and explained how she fell and that her shoulder hurt. Diagnosing testing revealed a full-thickness tear of the entire supraspinatus tendon (a/k/a - a torn rotator cuff).
Within weeks of the accident she underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff. Following the surgical procedure this client completed an extensive course of physical therapy. Although she recovered from her injury, she was left with a decreased range of motion.
One issue that was of concern for our client was that she had a previous injury and surgery to the same shoulder.
Our Involvement as Personal Injury Attorneys
This client found our law office online. Since our main office is in Framingham, Massachusetts and this client fell in Norton, Attorney Chuck Pappas drove to meet this client. Although this women had met and talked to other personal injury lawyers, she felt comfortable with Attorney Pappas and decided to hire Mahaney & Pappas, LLP to represent her.
We took immediate action on the case. This included conducting an immediate investigation into the accident. We obtained and took photographs of where the fall occurred, met and interviewed witnesses to the fall and determined the owner and snow removal company of the property.
Once our investigation was completed, we filed a personal injury lawsuit against both the owner of the property as well as the snow removal company.
Property owners in Massachusetts have an obligation to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition in view of all the circumstances, which includes the obligation to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition regarding hazards arising from snow and ice. (See the Article we wrote on Slip and Fall Accidents on Snow and Ice regarding the case: Papadopoulos v. Target Corp., 457 Mass. 368 (2010)).
Likewise, in Massachusetts snow removal contractors owe a duty of reasonable care in clearing snow and ice, and have an obligation to "perform the duties in a diligent and workmanlike manner.” During our investigation, we determined that the snow removal company did not sand or salt the parking lot after they had plowed. This contributed to the presence of dangerous ice.
After thoroughly conducting discovery, which consisted of taking depositions and other written discovery, we began to pursue a resolution in the case by way of settlement. Our office worked closely with our client’s treating surgeon and obtained a special medical report that detailed the injury and treatment. This also addressed the preexisting injury to the same shoulder and how this fall was a major cause of our client’s impairments and pain.
Ultimately, all parties to the lawsuit were able to agree to mediate the case. At the mediation and after hours of negotiations, we were able to obtain a $90,000.00 settlement for our client. She was very happy with our services.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have been injured in an accident and have questions about what your rights are or if you are entitled to financial compensation, feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online. We offer complimentary case evaluations and are more than happy to answer your questions and explain how we may be able to help you.