Home / Verdicts and Settlements / Virgil Joiner, et al. v. East Pointe Marketplace Limited Partnership, et al.

Virgil Joiner, et al. v. East Pointe Marketplace Limited Partnership, et al.


Injuries claimed: Plaintiff sustained fractures and an ulnar deviation of two fingers on her right hand, requiring surgery and extensive physical therapy. She incurred medical expenses of $19,260.52, and a wage loss of $2,250.40. She suffered a permanent decrease in flexion and extension of one of her fingers on the right hand.

Court: Milwaukee County Circuit Court

Case name: Virgil Joiner, et al. v. East Pointe Marketplace Limited Partnership, et al.

Case number: 08 CV 16230

Judge: Timothy G. Dugan

Verdict & settlement: Jury returned defense verdict

Original amount sought: $135,000

Highest offer: $15,000

Award: Zero dollars

Special damages: East Pointe Market-place Limited Partnership: No negligence. Plaintiff Virgil Joiner: No negligence. Past medical expense, $19,261; Past wage loss, $2,250; Past pain, suffering and disability, $7,500; Future pain, suffering and disability, $7,500

Date of incident: Feb. 9, 2007

Disposition date: Feb. 18, 2010

Original filing date: Nov. 11, 2008

Plaintiffs attorney (firm): Thomas A. Ogorchock, Miller & Ogorchock, SC, Milwaukee

Defendants attorney (firm): Thomas J. Binder, Simpson & Deardorff, SC, Milwaukee

Insurance carrier: ACUITY, A Mutual Insurance Company

Plaintiffs expert witnesses: Norman Buebendorf, M.D., Hand Surgery, Ltd., Milwaukee, WI

Defendants expert witnesses: None

Defense counsel’s summary of the facts: On Feb. 9, 2007, the plaintiff, a social worker, while on her way to work, stopped at the Guaranty Bank located within the East Pointe Marketplace on Ogden Avenue in Milwaukee. She parked her vehicle in the parking lot, went into the bank to do her banking, and tripped and fell after exiting the bank. The plaintiff claims she tripped and fell on a difference in elevation between two sidewalk slabs in front of the bank. She alleged that the owner of East Pointe Marketplace was negligent and violated the safe place statute.

The defendant, East Pointe Marketplace Limited Partnership, denied any liability. The difference in elevation between the two slabs was only three-eighths of an inch, well within the three-quarter inch tolerance utilized as a standard by East Pointe. The defendants argued that the main reason the plaintiff tripped and fell was because she was not watching where she was walking at the time of the accident. No reasonably prudent person would have tripped and fallen on this slight discrepancy in the height of the sidewalk slabs.

One comment

  1. It does appear to me, (virgil joiner) that the elevation of the sidewalk was repaired before this final court session. I have pictures showing the extreme difference, but the jury did not view them for whatever their reasons. I took pictures (3) days after the incident where one can clearly see the difference. Also, when the question was asked of the jury as to the liability of neglect toward Easte Pointe, the court used the date of their (easte pointe) last inspection the yr. before. The court never asked if they were liable on the day of the fall which I think would have changed the whole jury response. This was a hugh injustice. My right hand is permanently damaged and the condition it was left in has a great impact on my daily living. Why? I’m right handed and my job/s that are used to sustain me call for the use of my hand. I am no longer able to grip certain objects and hold them good. Plus, I was watching where I was going and I am always careful of my surroundings because I’m always traveling alone. What happened here is that I didn’t do my homework on choosing good representation. I was also never told why the jury didn’t view my pictures which showed the truth. Needless to say: I believe in the power of reaping and sowing. If you freely and on purpose do someone wrong, it will one day come back and bite you in the butt, whether you are an individual, group, or company.

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