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ARTICLE ID 20461

$________ GROSS Failure to place warning of step situated in sidewalk leading from condominium unit to parking lot - Elderly plaintiff falls and suffers fractured wrist.

Bergen County

The plaintiff, a woman in her late 70s, lived in a different portion of the large condominium project from where the subject fall occurred. The plaintiff contended that as she was walking from a unit owned by another individual, she tripped over a step down that was in the walkway. The plaintiff contended that the defendant condominium association negligently failed to place a warning, such as a painted strip, on the nosing. The defendant denied that the premises were hazardous.

The plaintiff related that her unit was on a level portion of the condominium complex and that no step was in the walkway. The plaintiff maintained that she had been at the unit where the subject fall occurred only three or four times in the past and that because of this fact as well as the very cloudy weather conditions, she did not see the step and fell.

The defendant condominium association denied that the premises were hazardous. The defendant also argued that the plaintiff, who fell as she was leaving the unit, should have recalled the step from when she arrived a few hours earlier and that she was clearly comparatively negligent. The plaintiff contended that she may well have walked across the adjacent lawn after parking her car because this route was shorter, but conceded that she did not recall. The defendant maintained that since the lawn was wet and the plaintiff was wearing sneakers, it was unlikely that she had taken this route when arriving and it was clear that she had walked up the step earlier in the day.

The plaintiff contended that she suffered comminuted fractures to the left dominant wrist that required an external fixation device. The plaintiff further contended that she will permanently suffer significant pain and weakness. The plaintiff related that she had loved to ride horses in earlier times and that after she had become too old to ride, she enjoyed operating a horse and carriage, belonging to a club that went on such outings. The plaintiff maintained that she has been forced to give up such activities.

The jury found each party 50% negligent and rendered a gross award of $________. The carrier had paid $________ for medical bills prior to trial and this aspect was not a part of the claim.

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