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Premises liability - Hazardous Premises - Plaintiffs trips and falls on allegedly dangerous curb at shopping center - Failure to warn of hazard with contrasting paint - Calcaneus fracture with multiple surgeries - Complicating infection.

Miami-Dade County, FL

The plaintiff claimed that she tripped and fell on a curb at the defendant’s shopping center as a result of the defendant’s negligent failure to paint the curb with a contrasting color or otherwise warn of the condition. The defendant argued that the curb was open and obvious and was not dangerous or defective in any way.

The plaintiff was a female in her 60s at the time of the fall. She claimed that she did not notice the curb drop-off because the defendant’s sidewalk was pink and the curbing was grey, the same color as the adjacent driveway. The plaintiff’s engineer testified that the curb presented a tripping hazard because it lacked contrasting color and that it should have been painted a bright yellow or otherwise marked for safety.

The plaintiff, who was obese, sustained a calcaneus (heel) fracture as a result of the fall and underwent open reduction and internal fixation of the fracture. The plaintiff’s orthopedic hardware failed and a second surgery to replace it was performed. The plaintiff’s recovery was complicated by infection. A port was installed for IV antibiotic administration, but the plaintiff developed candida bacteria which settled in her eye and back.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff fell because she was not paying attention to where she was walking and stepped off the eight foot long sidewalk. The defendant’s engineer testified that the curb was a standard six inch construction, met all code requirements and was not dangerous.

After a five day trial, the jury found no negligence on the part of the defendant which was a legal cause of injury to the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s motion for new trial is pending. The defendant has filed for costs and attorney fees pursuant to a proposal for settlement.

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