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Evidence, persistence, pay in resolving 2005 slip-and-fall case

Columbus is waving good-bye to winter 2013-14. Most readers are very likely to be glad to see it go, but it won't be long before the next round of cold is back.

Every year, the reality of snow and ice accumulation presents a significant risk to pedestrians. That's part of the reason why city ordinance 902.03 puts an onus on owners of business and residential properties to keep all paved walks or shared paths around those properties clear of snow and ice each day. If they can't get things clear, the ordinance says that slippery spots have to be covered with some substance that renders travel safe.

Failing to take these kinds actions often results in someone slipping, falling and suffering potentially life-altering injury. If it can be shown that a property owner was negligent in exercising a proper standard of care it may be possible to seek compensation for the injuries and damages suffered. To assess a given case, an attorney should be consulted.

Timely resolution of such slip-and-fall claims is something that anyone who has been hurt likely desires, but it can sometimes be difficult to achieve, as a case out of New York reflects. Persistence is crucial.

The case stems from an incident that occurred on Dec. 16, 2005. A man, then in his 50s, was walking outside a home at about 11:15 in the morning when he fell and broke his right ankle. His lawsuit claims he slipped on ice on the sidewalk that was covered by a thin layer of fresh snow. As a result of his injury, he underwent surgery and was forced to retire from his job.

It's unclear when the suit was filed, but in 2011, a judge ruled after hearing evidence in the matter that the plaintiff hadn't provided evidence needed to establish that the property owner had not exercised a proper standard of care. An appeal of the finding, however, resulted in a decision earlier this year in favor of the man and a new trial was ordered to determine damages.

Recently, the attorney for the plaintiff announced that a settlement had been reached for $235,000, making the new trial unnecessary. It may have been long in coming, but the plaintiff has had his day in court.

Source: SILive, "Snow doubt now: Icy slip and fall nets $235,000 settlement after appellate court overturns lower court ruling," Frank Donnelly, May 6, 2014

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