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$________ Premises Liability – Fall Down – Icy condition in parking area near defendant amusement park's loading dock – Slip and fall – Lumbar herniation – Osteochondral defect to knee – Finger fracture.

Mercer County, NJ

The plaintiff, a vendor whose customers included the defendant amusement park, contended that after he picked up an approximate 50 pound box of nuts and bolts in the warehouse and walked down the loading dock stairs, he slipped and fell on black ice on the loading dock driveway. The plaintiff maintained that the fall caused a lumbar herniation that was confirmed by MRI, knee injuries and a finger fracture. The plaintiff also maintained that lumbar stenosis noted at the time of diagnosis was asymptomatic if it was present previously. The defendant did not dispute that the lumbar and knee injuries were caused by the incident and that the treatment was appropriate. However, the defendant contended that the knee injuries were not permanent and that the finger fracture had resolved.

The plaintiff contended that a retaining wall situated approximately 20 feet away leaked after rain. The plaintiff’s weather expert related that a heavy rain fell the day before and that the temperature then dropped to below freezing. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant should have been aware of the hazard and taken action to clear it.

The plaintiff would have also contended that a defense employee, who had been working with the plaintiff, had indicated that she was aware of the ice, that it posed a great hazard and that she called the landscaping department sometime earlier. In her deposition, the witness did not recall the statement. She did not denying making it. The plaintiff would have also presented two union dock workers who would have testified that the landscaping department often failed to respond to such hazards promptly.

The plaintiff contended that conservative care and a combination of some eight facet and epidural injections were insufficient to treat the lumbar area and the plaintiff underwent a microdiscectomy. The plaintiff’s orthopedist would have maintained that because of extensive continuing difficulties, the plaintiff will probably require a lumbar fusion. The plaintiff also contended that he suffered an osteochondral defect in the knee that was superimposed on mild degenerative changes and that he will suffer permanent symptoms despite some five Synvisc injections.

The plaintiff contended that he would have worked until age 72, but could not continue because of the injuries. The plaintiff made a lost income claim of approximately $________. The defendant disputed the wage loss claim and was prepared to present evidence that the plaintiff had discussions with his family doctor about leaving his employment for non-injury related reasons prior to his fall.The case settled prior to trial for $________.

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