Our client was coming down the outside stairs at the Rodeway Inn in San Diego. As she reached the bottom of the stairs she turned and tripped over a parking stop that had recently been painted black, the same color as the asphalt parking lot making it virtually undetectable. In fact, the parking stop had previously been painted fluorescent yellow and the owners of the premises had decided to paint it black just two months before our client's injury. The picture below shows the parking stop the color it was at the time of the injury.
Almost immediately after the accident the owners of the property repaired the area in order to make the premises safe for the guests. Specifically they removed the parking stop, placed a protective yellow barrier and used high resolution paint at the bottom of the stairs to alert the guests to the contour of the ground surface.
As a result of her fall, our client immediately realized that her ankle was broken and was taken by ambulance to the nearby emergency room. She was diagnosed with a right ankle trimalleolar fracture and was prescribed Norco and Motrin for the pain and inflammation. She was advised to follow up when she returned to Ventura for an orthopedic examination.
Our client presented to the orthopedic clinic and due to the severity of the injury, the physician recommended a trimalleolar open reduction internal fixation with screw placement. Essentially, they needed to surgically straighten out the bones and keep them in place by screwing them together.
Post operatively she underwent physical therapy and made a relatively good recovery although she continues with residual pain and reduced range of motion to her ankle.
Her medical bills totaled approximately $42,000.00 and her lost earnings claim was made in the amount of approximately $2,500.00.
Negotiations with the defendant's insurance company were unsuccessful resulting in a settlement offer of $50,000.00. A complaint was filed, discovery initiated and the deposition of the defendant took place. Shortly thereafter we were able to obtain a settlement in the amount of $275,000.00.
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