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Broward County, FL

The plaintiff was eight months pregnant with her third child when she slipped and fell near an ice machine in the defendant’s hotel. The plaintiff alleged that the standard of care required that the floor at a hotel ice machine be slip-resistant, or have carpeting or mats. The defendant argued that the plaintiff was solely negligent, and/or comparatively negligent, and disputed the injuries which she claimed as a result of the fall.

The plaintiff was 29 years old and single at the time of the fall on June 7, ________. She complained of shoulder and low back pain, and was transported to the emergency room by paramedics. The plaintiff was treated and released from the hospital with instructions to follow-up with her primary care physician. She was subsequently diagnosed with lumbar disc bulges and facet hypertrophy, which she claimed was caused by the subject fall.

The plaintiff alleged that the injuries sustained in the hotel fall caused a gait change, which made her susceptible to falling; resulting in a fall down the stairs at her boyfriend’s house approximately two months after the subject fall, and while she was still under treatment for the first fall.

The plaintiff underwent a series of injections (totaling 17 injections), including epidurals, sacroiliac injections, and facet nerve blocks. The plaintiff testified that none of the injections resolved her pain, and she continues to suffer persistent low back pain with radiculopathy.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff’s subsequent fall at her boyfriend’s house was unrelated to the subject fall, and the subsequent fall resulted in her symptoms. Evidence also showed that, in May of ________, the plaintiff was in a car accident. The plaintiff then cancelled a physical therapy appointment, stating that the car accident worsened her back pain, although she did not disclose the car accident to any other doctor whom she later saw, according to evidence offered by the defendant.

The plaintiff missed approximately 70 days of work over the course of seven years as a result of the hotel fall. She was making more money at the time of trial as a deli manager than she earned at the time of the fall, and she had been promoted since the subject slip and fall.

The defense additionally argued that a ________ intake form indicated that the plaintiff suffered from sickle cell anemia, which could account for her complaints of continuing pain. The plaintiff countered that she actually had iron deficient anemia, not sickle cell anemia.The jury found the defendant 90% negligent and the plaintiff 10% comparatively negligent. The plaintiff was awarded $________ in damages, reduced accordingly. The case is currently on appeal.

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