Our client fell on a bolt that was sticking up from the ground in the middle of the walkway.
Here is a picture:
The insurance company denied her claim giving the usual reasons:
-shopping center didn’t know the bolt was there;
-our client was not paying attention to where she was walking;
-it was an inspection company’s fault for not telling the shopping center it was there;
We filed a lawsuit and hired an expert in premises liability. Our expert inspected the area and found it was a code violation to have the bolt sticking up how it was. We took the deposition of the shopping center owner and manager and learned the shopping center had no policies in place to help minimize the chances of something like this happening. The owner conceded the group did want to spend the money needed to make the shopping center safer and in better condition – this type of statement is always the kiss of death for any defendant property owner. Finally, we took the deposition of the inspection company who confirmed they had no role or responsibility as it related to the bolt in question.
After many months of negotiating with counsel for the shopping center’s insurance company, we were able to reach a settlement for $140,000. This provided her money to pay for her medical bills with plenty leftover to compensate her for what she went through.