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$________ GROSS Premises liability – Alleged failure to maintain restaurant in safe condition – Trip and fall on door threshold - Fracture of hip and pelvis to elderly plaintiff – Kidney failure – Gangrenous pressure ulcers – Toe amputations – 60% comparative negligence found

Pinellas County, FL

The plaintiff, in this premises liability action, was an 88-year-old decorated B-24 bomber pilot and prisoner of war from World War II. He claimed that he tripped and fell at the defendant’s restaurant due to a dangerous floor threshold. The defendant denied that a dangerous condition existed on the premises, and supported that the fall was caused by the plaintiff’s own negligence. The plaintiff died prior to filing of suit as a result of unrelated causes, and the case was continued as a survival action by his estate.

The plaintiff claimed that the decedent tripped as a result of a dangerous raised metal door threshold between carpet and tile in the defendant’s restaurant. As a result of the fall, the decedent sustained a left hip and pelvic fracture. He subsequently developed acute and chronic kidney disease, requiring dialysis. In addition, he developed severe pressure ulcers on both legs and heels, which ultimately became gangrenous, and required amputation of several toes.

The plaintiff boarded medical expenses of $________, and additionally sought damages for the decedent’s pain and suffering up until the date of his death.

The defendant contended that the decedent failed to watch where he was walking. The defense also argued the decedent’s kidney disease and pressure ulcers were not causally related to the fall.After two and a half hours of deliberation, the jury found the defendant 40% negligent, and the decedent 60% comparatively negligent. The jury awarded total damages of $________ reduced (by comparative negligence) to a net award of $________. The award included past medical expenses of $________, and past pain and suffering of $________. The defendant has moved for collateral source set offs, attorney fees, and costs based on a proposal for settlement, and to compel negotiation of a Veteran’s Administration lien.

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