United States: Colin Hackett Obtains Defense Verdict In Premises Liability Suit
Last Updated: September 11 2017

Newark Managing Partner Colin P. Hackett recently obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a national restaurant chain in a case alleging a New Jersey outlet failed to maintain its ladies' restroom.

Plaintiffs alleged the restaurant failed to maintain its restroom by allowing water to exist on the floor of its handicapped stall and the restroom's tile floor was unreasonably safe when wet or dry. The female plaintiff fell in the handicapped stall and suffered a broken hip necessitating a hip replacement. Plaintiffs called Plaintiff and her husband as fact witnesses and both a treating and medical doctor as well as a professional engineer as expert witnesses. The latter expert opined as to the alleged dangerous slip resistance of the tile floor. The defense called the restaurant manager on duty and two responding EMS personnel as fact witnesses, and a medical doctor and professional engineer as expert witnesses. The latter expert opined as to the excellent slip resistance of the floor and rebutted the Plaintiffs' liability expert's opinions.

After four trial days and only thirty-five minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous 7-0 defense verdict finding the restaurant was not negligent. Plaintiffs' settlement demand prior to trial was $250,000.

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