Slip and Fall Defense Verdict in Philadelphia

Plaintiff, a dental technician in her mid-fifties, parked her car in our client’s lot and opted to take the shortest route toward her employer’s office by walking over a grassy area, still wet with morning dew, rather than walking around the lot to a paved surface. Plaintiff fell in the area where the grass met the pavement, sustaining a fractured ankle requiring surgery, and alleged lumbar herniations. Plaintiff sued our client as well as the property owner, alleging a dangerous condition existed where the pavement overhang, coupled with a slight depression in the grass, created a hazardous condition for pedestrians. Additional ankle surgery was recommended by her treating physician together with ongoing injections and spinal fusion for the herniations. Plaintiff had a workers’ compensation lien of over six figures and she presented a demand of $750,000.00. The co-defendant property surveyor confirmed the grassy area where the plaintiff fell was, in fact, our client’s property. Our colleague, Clark Leutze, elicited testimony supporting defenses of “choice of ways” and “assumption of the risk.” Following a four-day trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, the jury returned a defense verdict exonerating our client.