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Woman awarded $4 million after slip-and-fall accident

It is easy to forget in the summer months how much snow Maryland receives in the winter and how it can dramatically impact people's lives. For one woman the neglectful snow-removal by a condominium development's managing agent caused her severe pain and suffering after she slipped and fell on slippery patch outside of her home.

A jury recently awarded the woman $4 million due to her severe back injuries after she slipped and fell on snow and ice at condominium in 2009. The woman had been visiting a neighbor when she slipped snow and ice and fell down the steps leading from her patio to the walkway outside of her home. The area had not been shoveled, salted or sanded. The woman suffered multiple spinal fractures in the fall and had to undergo surgery. The doctors informed her that she would be totally disabled and would suffer chronic pain for the rest of her life.

Similar to many condominiums, the homeowners' association and a managing agent were responsible for clearing snow and ice on the streets, walkways and steps up to all front doors. In a premises liability case the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was at fault and can do so by having testifiers account the conditions of the property.

In this case a forensic meteorologist testified that the area had received just over two inches of snow fell the day before the incident and there was some freezing rain a few days prior. A neighbor across the street also testified that the managing agent did not remove snow from the woman's patio nor her steps. The jury awarded her more than $4 million, including $2.6 million for future pain and suffering, and medical and rehabilitation services.

Source: Staten Island Advance, "Staten Island woman awarded $4M in slip-and-fall lawsuit," Frank Donnelly, June 10, 2013

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