Defense Verdict in Premises Liability Case

Jane Higgins and Jessica Droste Simon recently obtained a defense verdict in a premises liability case that was tried in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky.

The Plaintiff fell in the vestibule of a restaurant and broke her left knee resulting in four knee surgeries. The Plaintiff’s theory of liability was that the restaurant failed in its duty of ordinary care because the mat in its vestibule did not cover the entire tile floor of this area and that they failed in their duty to warn because it was raining and there was no wet floor sign present in the vestibule.

We defended on the basis that if the vestibule mat was any larger, the entrance and exit doors would make contact with it, causing it to buckle thereby creating a potential trip hazard and that the restaurant had no duty to warn of the obvious condition of rain.

The Plaintiff’s medicals were in excess of $240,000 and she also sought $500,000 in pain and suffering – we had obtained summary judgment on her lost earnings and future impairment prior to trial. The jury deliberated one hour before returning a defense verdict.

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