Liability rests on several legal principles: 1) the hazard was not “open and obvious;” i.e., that is, it was not easily seen by a reasonable patron boarding a vessel since it was water that is considered the hazard that caused the slip and fall. The water should have been dried, or have warning cones around it, particularly near the entrance of the high traffic area where the accident occurred. 2) the hazard was within the control and dominion of the business since it is in the path of patron traffic going into the store; the main front entrance. Also, the business maintains a never-ending duty to make sure the path of patron traffic is free from obvious dangers. 3) The business had constructive notice, if not actual notice, of the potential hazard given that it was near the entrance and a reasonable inspection would have found the slippery surface with water; also warning cones could have been placed there. 4) The business not only has a duty to warn of dangers like this, they also have a duty to warn of dangers they “should have known about” as here. The utility of placing warning cones, or drying up the surface, to prevent such an injury clearly could have been an easy and effective procedure; particulary in front or near the entrance. In fact, an argument can be given that the business had a “heightened duty” to look for such dangers given it was near where patrons go inside the store. Given the above, liability is not an issue.
Prior injury aggravation: Dr. Gregory Williams, M.D.10/05/06 pg 2 of 2 documents this was a massive injury that was further complicated by the fact that she had had prior surgery.
Injured client had surgery on both knees in spring or summer of 1999 to fix an issue with joint alignment and has not had a treating physician relating to her knees until the incident at the store.
My injured client was transported via ambulance to UCSD Medical Center ER where she was evaluated and given diagnostics. She was given a knee immobilizer, crutches and was told to follow up with an orthopaedic surgeon. She followed up with Dr. Gregory Williams, M.D. 14 days later who explained the complicated nature of the rupture of the patellar tendon. The nature of this repair involves using heavy fiber wire to pull the patella down, with drill holes through the tibia and is a complex surgery per Dr. Gregory Williams, M.D. 10/03/06 report. My injured client had surgery of the left knee. She then followed up with physical therapy at Palomar Pomerado Hospital. She was given conservative therapy and then released to participate in her own recovery.
Mr. Blane was able to form a foundational argument of liability which meant the insurance company would risk the exposure of a jury trial and possibly lose - to this end, Mr. Blane negotiated a fair settlement for his injured client.