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ARTICLE ID 50286

$________ - PLAINTIFF, UNIVERSITY SECURITY GUARD, SLIPS AND FALLS ON FLOOR NEXT TO COMPUTER CENTER, WHEN HE ENTERS BUILDING IN EARLY MORNING HOURS IN RESPONSE TO SILENT ALARM - PLAINTIFF CONTENDS EMPLOYEES OF CLEANING CONTRACTOR NEGLIGENTLY LEAVE AN EXTENSIVE AMOUNT OF WAX ON FLOOR - SLIP AND FALL - TWO LUMBAR HERNIATIONS - FUSION SURGERY WITH NEED FOR CAGES - PSEUDOARTHRODOSIS - PROBABLE NEED FOR FUTURE SURGERY - PLAINTIFF ABLE TO RETURN TO WORK.

Monmouth County

The plaintiff, a university security guard, contended that the employees of the defendant janitorial service, negligently left an excessive amount of wax on the floor of the Fine Arts building that also housed the computer center. The plaintiff also contended that the defendants negligently failed to place warning signs after waxing. The plaintiff, who responded to a silent alarm in the early morning hours, maintained that he slipped and fell, suffering severe herniations at L4,5 and L-5,S-1. The plaintiff contended that he required fusion surgery, the insertion of two cages and that because of continuing severe symptoms and a likely pseudoarthrodosis, he will require future surgery.

The plaintiff related that the building was fairly dark, being illuminated by the red "exit" lights. The plaintiff contended, however, that there was sufficient light for him to see warning signs if any had been placed. The plaintiff maintained that he slipped and fell with great force and then noticed a puddle of wax on the floor. The plaintiff, who could not get up by himself, contacted a co-worker via two-way radio and the co-worker came to his assistance. The co-worker confirmed the plaintiff’s version. The plaintiff established that the defendant janitorial service often employed individuals who were in this country for a short period only, and that shortly after the accident occurred, these employees had left the country.

The defendant’s foreman denied that the plaintiff’s version was accurate. The defendant’s employee testified, in discovery, that he was initially advised by the workers that the plaintiff had walked into the building while they were waxing the floor, that yellow warning signs were present, and that the plaintiff appeared to ignore them, slipping and falling. According to the deposition, the plaintiff had chuckled that the incident was his fault and that he was not hurt. The manager maintained that he then visited the security office, spoke to the plaintiff and was similarly advised.

The plaintiff would have argued that the manager’s testimony should clearly be rejected. The plaintiff maintained that, at the time the manager contended he was speaking with the plaintiff, he was at the University health center. The plaintiff would have pointed to the evidence that there was no entry in the security office sign-in sheet reflecting that the defendant’s manager had been there. The plaintiff also established that the manager failed to prepare an incident report. The manager contended that he did not do so, because it did not appear that a significant incident had occurred. The plaintiff countered that the defendant company’s policy required the completion of a report even if the defendant’s version had been accurate.

The plaintiff required fusion surgery and the insertion of two cages. The plaintiff maintained that despite the surgery, he continues to suffer severe pain and weakness. The plaintiff’s orthopedist contended that it appears as if the fusion has failed and that because of the presence of loose bone floating around his back, the plaintiff will require very delicate surgery, which is planned to be performed at The Rothman Institute.

The plaintiff has been able to continue working and the plaintiff maintained that he works despite the severe pain. The plaintiff had been in the military for some 25 years before obtaining this job. The plaintiff would have also presented a life care planning expert who would have discussed the costs of the surgery, follow-up care, physical therapy and medications over the remainder of the plaintiff’s life. The expert would have projected $________ in such costs.

The case settled prior to trial for $________.

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