PERSONAL INJURY: ZERO DOLLARS
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.