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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

Florida personal injury lawyers



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    Premises Liability

    Slip & Fall – Trip & Fall – Obstructions – Falling Merchandise

    When someone is injured from a slip and fall or a trip and fall, the business or person who owns or runs the location where the fall took place may be liable if their negligence led to the injury. Whether you sustained fractures or other injuries from a slip and fall or trip and fall, Leighton Panoff Law lawyers will aggressively pursue the maximum compensation provided by law.

    Each year there are over 2.5 million non-fatal falls in the United States which require emergency treatment, including 250,000 hip fractures.  Falls can cause traumatic brain injury, which is often overlooked or missed because it may take time to show up.  If you have hit your head or lost consciousness in a fall, it is important to see a skilled medical professional for a full assessment.  We represent many people who have suffered mild and moderate traumatic brain injuries from falls; these injuries can be devastating to the victim and their family.

    Slips and falls due to dangerous situations occur with great frequency. Often it may be due to a substance that has been left on a floor or a condition that causes the ground to be dangerously slippery. Sometimes there is an uneven surface or a hidden danger that cannot be perceived by someone until they fall. The law requires that premises be reasonably maintained and that people are entitled to be warned of known hazards. The attorney’s job is to find out if there was a defect or known hazard and, if so, to prove it in court.

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    Retail liability occurs when a shopper is injured because of a dangerous condition in a store. The proliferation of “big box” stores has added to the risks that shoppers face. Now they are not only dealing with whatever risks a traditional store offers, but often they are essentially inside a working “warehouse.” It is not unusual to see forklifts and pallets loaded with merchandise being moved back and forth or up to high levels while shoppers walk through the store. This increases the chances for injuries in an already dangerous environment. This includes falling or misplaced merchandise inside stores, causing injuries and falls.  It can also include protrusions and improper merchandising of products that create hazards.

    Leighto Panoff Law personal injury lawyers have a long and successful track record of recovering substantial damages for people who are injured from falls.

    Falling merchandise: John Elliott Leighton represented a 62 year-old woman who attempted to retrieve a package of toilet paper from an overhead pallet at warehouse store, Costco. The entire shrink-wrapped pallet fell on her from above her head, causing a displaced fracture of her leg. The big box store defended the case by claiming that this was not merchandise intended for sale (it claimed it was “overstock”). Mr. Leighton took the case to trial and proved that Costco knew its customers opened shrink wrapped pallets and did nothing to warn them or prevent customer access. Mr. Leighton retained a retail merchandising and engineering expert, and an accident reconstruction expert, to demonstrate to the jury how the incident occurred and the reasonableness of the plaintiff. The jury returned a verdict of $1,007,000, which was more than ten times the offer made to our client before trial.

    Slip and fall injuries: One of Mr. Leighton’s skills is in maximizing his client’s recovery for slip and fall injuries. In one case, he represented a woman who slipped and fell while walking out of a Wendy’s restaurant. She had slipped on a grease slick that was in front of the walkway up to the restaurant. The restaurant denied any responsibility. At trial, Mr. Leighton proved that the restaurant had a practice of carrying out its used grease from its fryers to the back of the restaurant along this path. Expert chemical analysis demonstrated that the grease on which our client slipped was the same as that which is used in the Wendy’s fryers. Mr. Leighton won a jury verdict in excess of $200,000.

    In another recent case, Leighton recovered $850,000 for a woman who slipped and fell at a Disney hotel while on vacation and fractured her knee. The flooring surface was wet from rainwater, which the hotel failed to dry or warn guests about. Another Leighton Panoff Law client fell down stairs at a country club due to a lack of lighting and building code violations. A $1,300,000 settlement was recovered.

    Mr. Leighton represented a man who slipped and fell on an improperly painted surface which became very slippery when wet. The man suffered serious leg injuries and was disabled from his job as a truck driver.  Leighton obtained a substantial confidential settlement which provided for the client’s economic future.

    Mr. Leighton and Mr. Panoff recently recovered $1,000,000 for a man who slipped and fell on a wet area outside a resort hotel. The area was sometimes covered with a carpeted mat to prevent slips but was not on this particular day despite the rain. Leighton Panoff Law proved that the slope of the area violated building codes and the surfacing used by the owner was an improper tile to use in an area that was subjected to water, thus causing the client’s fall.

    In a slip and fall case tried in Broward County Circuit Court, Mr. Leighton obtained a verdict of $200,000 for a young woman who injured her back after slipping and falling on water inside a supermarket. The water was from damaged bottled water that sat on the store shelves, but which did not receive appropriate attention once they began to leak.

    Electrocutions: Sometimes premises injuries can have deadly results. The injuries can be due to things other than falls.  In one celebrated case litigated by John Leighton, a man was killed when  he was electrocuted while in his pool.  The wiring for the landscape lighting around his pool had been installed incorrectly, causing his death.  Leighton recovered $5.5 million for the family.  His wife and children were financially secured even though they lost this wonderful father and husband.

    In another of our electrocution cases, a man working on a construction site was electrocuted when another worker turned the power on when he was working on the job.  In another case tried by Mr. Leighton, a jury awarded over $1 million for the electrocution of a teenage boy who was killed when the boat lift he was playing on was electrified.

    At Leighton Panoff Law, our team of lawyers, paralegals, nurses, investigators and staff are trained to help our clients who have suffered a fall and are injured.  We can assist clients in helping coordinate care and prosecuting a case against the responsible party. Call us at 888-395-0001 or contact us for a complimentary consultation. We pride ourselves in obtaining the very best recoveries for clients who have slipped or tripped and fallen because of a dangerous or defective condition.

    Click here for examples of our pending and finalized premises liability cases.


    Disclaimer: The information about past verdicts and settlements of the firm’s cases are based on the unique facts of each case. These amounts reflect the gross recovery in each case (before attorneys fees, expenses and medical costs are deducted). Although these results were obtained by our firm, they may not indicate the success or value of any other case as each case is unique. By clicking on Verdicts and Settlements you are acknowledging that every case is different and each case must be evaluated on its own merits. The information contained here has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar.



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