Our client who worked in the insurance and real estate industry was a patron at a dance club in Island Park New York. She went with a male friend for what she thought would be a fun evening. The club she attended is still in Island Park. It is considered an upscale dance club as well as an established catering facility for weddings. On the evening in question the client claims that she and her friend got to the club and they split up as he met some of his friends and she went to the outside deck of the facility. Later that evening after meeting a few people and dancing a few times she slipped and fell and badly fractured her ankle. She was hospitalized and was required to undergo surgery which resulted in an internal fixation.
When she came to our office I had real doubts about the case. She said that slipped on a spilled bottle of beer. She claimed that the bottle had been on the floor for about an hour or so. She indicated that although the bouncers all helped her right afterwards there was no accident report. She also claimed that she left on her own accord, tried to drive home on her own to The Bronx, and oh yes she was not drunk. There were just too many tough issues in the case. But a few things started to change my mind. First and most important I met her. I did not have her interviewed by a paralegal or an investigator . I sat with her for several hours. I found her to be very credible. She spoke well, had a very good job and had never brought a legal case before. At that point I thought it was worth a shot. When I got the hospital records there was no sign that she had any alcohol on her breath. When we decided to litigate the case I knew that she might be held with some comparative fault for having observed the spilled beer an hour or so before the accident. However that did not stop me as the club had a responsibility to make sure that the dance area,which is where the spilled beer was. In my office we make it a regular practice to go out to the scene of the accident(sometimes we need a court order)with the client to go over the details of the accident. When we went the client was quite confident and knew exactly what happened. For me that made me feel we had a good shot at getting her compensation. I believed her claims and I thought a jury would as well.
The case was brought in The Bronx, as that was where she lived. While I will go into the different counties on another post lets just say The Bronx is a good place to bring a legal claim. At her deposition the client testified very well. The defendants knew that and that convinced them to have a mediation in the case which ultimately resolved her case. The client had suffered a fractured ankle with an internal fixation. She lost some time from work but not a lot. The case settled between $100,000-$300,000 which made the client very happy. Considering all the pros and cons of the case this was considered an excellent settlement. The point of the case is that sometimes a client comes in and at first it does not sound like a good case at all but after really interviewing the client and investigating the matter you may see things very differently. If you fell in a night club, bar or restaurant contact my firm for more information.