Trip and Fall Results in $890,000.00 Award to Client


R.A., and E.R., his Wife v. Al "C"


Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, 11th, FL


David W. Lipcon and Mitchell J Lipcon, of Lipcon & Lipcon P.A.,

Plaintiff, 67, a business owner, was working at his shop. He leased the shop from Defendant and had done so for 20 years. Plaintiff was walking through the parking lot/driveway owned by Defendant, on his way to a coffee shop. He claimed that he was careful to walk along the curb, mindful of any traffic that may approach him. He contended that he was unaware of a piece of rebar protruding out onto the street driveway, extending from a broken parking block that was camouflaged by grass, mud and leaves. The rebar caught his foot, causing him to fall to the ground, crushing his right hip and injuring his knee.

Plaintiff sued Defendant on a premises liability theory, claiming negligent maintenance.

Plaintiff’s lawyers contended that about a year before the accident, Defendant placed the parking blocks on the grass abut­ting the street to deter trucks from driving over his it. The trucks began to hit the parking blocks, causing them to break. Witnesses testified that the blocks had been broken for some time, but the rebar was impossible to see due to the debris and mud around it.

Plaintiff’s lawyers argued that Defendant had a duty, under state law, to maintain his property in a safe condition and warn of any dangers that may lie hidden on his property. He has a further “special relationship” with Plaintiff as he is his landlord.

The defense contended that Plaintiff should have seen the rebar and was comparatively negligent for failing to pay attention to where he was stepping.

INJURIES/DAMAGES embolism; hardware implanted; hip,. internal fixation; knee; open reduction; pulmonary

When Plaintiff fell, he injured his hip and knee. He testified that it took almost 25 minutes for anyone to hear his cries of help. Plaintiff underwent surgery on April 21, 2004, to repair his hip. His treating physician, Ivan Barrios, performed the open reduction and internal fixation of his hip fracture using plates, springs and bone grafting. As part of the procedure, Plaintiff’s muscles were detached from the area. The fracture essentially consisted of two large fragments involving a significant portion of the posterior and superior wall of the acetabulurn causing instability. There were also lesser fracture fragments that were scattered in the area. The fragments were re-positioned and fixed with K-wires before they were permanently Fixated with a spring plate. The spring plate had to be fixated with screws after proper drilling of the screw holes. After a lengthy procedure, the muscles were reattached to the region by being threaded by drill holes that were created.

Only two weeks after returning home, Plaintiff reported again to the hospital due to pain in his right lower back and shortness of breath. It was discovered that as result of his injuries, surgery and recovery, Plaintiff was now suffering from acute dys­pnea, pleuritic pain/hematuria and pulmonary embolism. The stabbing pain in his right lung became progressively worse. He became nauseous. CT scans at Pan American confirmed bilateral pulmonary thromboemboli. He was admitted and placed on a course of Coumadin so he could resume physical therapy. Again, he was given medication for severe pain. He had to remain at Pan American Hospital for about a month.

Plaintiff testified that he was in regular pain and suffered a severe decrease in motion and strength in his legs.


A pretrial settlement for $890,000 was reached.