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ARTICLE ID 200521

$________ JUDGMENT, INCLUDING $________ JURY AND $________ IN STIPULATED MEDICAL EXPENSES Edge of asphalt path at defendant country club crumbles after 79-year-old man steps from golf cart allegedly stopped on path – Left humerus fracture and L1 fracture – Surgery to arm and back – MRSA infection on back – Death three years later from unrelated causes.

Ocean County, NJ

This action involved a then 79-year-old man in which the plaintiff contended that the defendant country club negligently failed to create support for asphalt that was placed 15 to 20 years earlier on a dirt path that was part of the defendant’s golf course. The plaintiff also contended that a significant amount of areas of the asphalt had crumbled in the past, that the defendant was well aware of the need to place new asphalt and negligently failed to do so, choosing instead to apply cold patches.

The plaintiff’s engineer maintained that in order to provide proper support, the defendant should have dug out a several inch foundation and placed a gravel like substance before applying the asphalt. The defendant’s engineer denied that the asphalt surface was defective or poorly maintained.

The plaintiff asserted that after the plaintiff had decided to wait in the cart for the back nine holes, the cart was parked on the path and that when he stepped out with the intention of getting a bottle of water from the back of the cart, the edge of the asphalt path crumbled and that he fell to the ground. The evidence disclosed that the plaintiff had required a knee fusion when he was nine years of age and a hip fusion when he was 12. The plaintiff asserted that despite a severe limp and the need for a cane, he had lived a relatively active life, worked until retiring some years earlier and continued to play golf twice per week.

The defendant denied that the cart was parked on the path and the defendant contended that the fall occurred some distance away and on the fairway. The cart was permitted on the fairway because of the plaintiff’s disability and the driver of the cart testified for the defendant that the cart was parked some distance from the fairway. The plaintiff denied that this position should be accepted and pointed out that the plaintiff’s expert, some family members and some members of his golfing party, including the driver of the cart, visited the area and indicated that the fall occurred on the path. The defendant’s manager also indicated that the plaintiff had advised him that he tripped and fell over his cane. The plaintiff countered that any advisements only reflected that he was carrying his cane and not that it was the cause of the fall.

The plaintiff suffered a fracture to the left humerus and a fracture at L1. He required surgery and the installation of hardware to both areas. The plaintiff also suffered a MRSA infection that prevented wound closure at the site of the back injury until approximately six months before the unrelated death.The jury found the defendant ________% negligent and awarded $________. $________ in stipulated medical bills were added.

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