Recently, a verdict of $1,010,665.28 won by the attorneys at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene was recognized as the largest trip and fall verdict in Florida in 2017, according to TopVerdict.com.
In 2015, our client was walking outside of his condominium building in Jupiter and tripped over a garden hose, falling forward onto pavement and landing on his knees. In an attempt to break the fall, 55-year old Peter Bonacci put out his hands. However, he wasn’t successful in breaking his fall, and he ended up spraining his wrist and snapping his neck. He needed surgery on his right knee and spine to remedy his injuries.
After the ordeal, Bonacci hired Steinger, Iscoe and Greene to represent him and file a lawsuit on his behalf. The attorneys, Alfred Bell Jr., Timothy Vannatta and Sean Greene, claimed the maintenance company for the condominium building, Fresh Start BSC Inc., failed to properly warn residents of the potential hazard of the hose, which was camouflaged by the dark pavement and shaded portico.
Fresh Start argued that they did provide proper warning by using cones and signs around the work area. Further, they argued that Bonacci fell due to his own negligence, and the extent of his injuries were caused by a fall in 2003.
The case came down to photo evidence. Bonacci took photos of the scene about one minute before his ambulance arrived. These photos showed the hose being picked up by a Fresh Start employee, and showed no evidence of any signs or cones. By showing the timestamps and other “metadata” from these photos, it was proven Fresh Start was at fault for Bonacci’s injuries.
“What that photo shows you is that there are no signs or warnings,” Attorney Sean Greene said. “That’s how we pieced the case together. This photo is the smoking gun.”
After seven days of trial, Bonacci was awarded over $1 million in damages by the jury:
Palm Beach Circuit Judge Edward L. Artau also granted Bonacci’s motion to determine entitlement to attorney fees, which could result in another $1.5 million being awarded.
Recently, this verdict of $1,010,665.28 was recognized as the largest trip and fall verdict in Florida in 2017, according to TopVerdict.com.
If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property due to the owner’s actions or negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the West Palm Beach premises liability attorneys at Steinger, Iscoe & Greene today for a free, no-obligation consultation.