Retail store in Framingham with messy aisles leading to slip and fall injury caseOur client, a woman 60 years of age, suffered an injury to her foot as a result of a trip and fall at a commercial retail establishment. She knew right away that her injury was serious and at the hospital she learned that she suffered a fractured bone in the Lisfranc joint of her left foot.  Due to the severity of the injury, the amount of her medical bills, and other damages she incurred, this client began searching for the best legal team to help her.  She found and contacted the Framingham injury lawyers at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP

Here's How the Accident Happened

A lifelong resident of the Framingham area, our client was out doing holiday shopping with her husband. She went to a well-known retail store to buy items for her family and loved ones. While in the store, she tripped and fell over an obstruction in the common area of a commercial building. She knew immediately that she suffered a severe injury. She was in a lot of pain and needed help to get up. Other shoppers and employees of the store heard the commotion and knew what had just happened. The store’s manager was informed about the accident and our client sought medical attention right away.

This woman’s injury was so severe that she required surgery. Our client was employed at the time of her accident and enjoyed an active and independent lifestyle.  However, she found herself laid up as a result of surgery and had to endure months of recovery and physical therapy.  She experienced a considerable change in lifestyle because of the injury and limitations from the surgery. During and after her post-surgical recovery, standing or walking for extended periods caused swelling and pain in her foot.

Overview of Injuries Suffered and Medical Treatment

Our client’s injuries were complicated. As mentioned above, she fractured a bone in the Lisfranc joint in her left foot. The Lisfranc joint complex includes bones and ligaments that connect the midfoot and forefoot.  Lisfranc injuries can involve ligament strains and/or tears, as well as fractures and dislocations of the bones. The Lisfranc midfoot joint complex involves very little motion but is critical in stabilizing the arch for pushing off during walking or running.  While walking, the midfoot transfers the forces generated by the calf muscles to the front of the foot. 

If a Lisfranc injury were to be left untreated, instability in the arch could persist, resulting in the collapse or flattening of the foot.  There have been many professional athletes who have suffered Lisfranc injuries, most resulting in the ending of their careers. This is considered a very serious injury. Our client required surgery to repair this fracture and months of therapy and rehabilitation.

The Legal Actions Taken and How Mahaney & Pappas, LLP Helped

Trip and fall cases in Massachusetts are notoriously difficult. Most times in these kinds of accidents, the insurance companies that insure the commercial properties of retail stores deny liability. Immediate legal action and investigation are crucial for a successful personal injury case. Therefore, anyone suffering a serious injury in a trip and fall or slip and fall accident should seek the help of experienced accident attorneys. That’s exactly what this client did. She found the Framingham injury attorneys at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP online.

Upon being hired we quickly conducted an investigation and put the building owner and retail establishment on legal notice of the accident and injury. Additionally, we served a demand to preserve all evidence, especially video and/or photographic evidence, in possession of the building owner and retail establishment.

As with all personal injury cases in Massachusetts, negligence must be proven. During our initial evaluation and subsequent investigation, we determined that the existence of the obstruction, when the owners knew or should have known of its existence, amounted to negligence by the building owner and retail store.

 From the beginning of this case, it was clear that the store was not accepting liability for their negligence and our client’s injury. We filed a personal injury lawsuit in the Middlesex Superior Court and began the process of forcing the defendant to turn over evidence. During the thorough discovery process, the defendant denied the existence of, and made it very difficult to obtain, critical evidence in the case. However, it was the relentless determination by our injury lawyers at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP through diligent motion practice to force the defendant to produce the evidence that led to the successful resolution of this case.

After finally obtaining the evidence from the defendant, our office employed the use of experts to assist in proving liability and damages in this case. An expert safety engineer was retained to evaluate the evidence and address the tripping hazard in the building’s common area. Our expert determined various code violations that helped sustain our burden of proof that the defendant was negligent. Additionally, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon was retained as our medical expert to support and explain the extent of our client’s injury, the surgery, rehabilitation, and to offer an opinion about the percentage of permanent impairment suffered by our client

Eventually, after framing a comprehensive and methodical personal injury case against the defendant, they agreed to attend a mediation prior to trial where the case was settled. In the end the mediation resulted in a settlement of $199,000 for our client. This is a prime example of why anyone who suffers a serious injury in an accident should seek the help of experienced personal injury lawyers.


Charles S. Pappas
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Massachusetts injury lawyer & workers' compensation attorney serving accident victims in Webster & Framingham.