Verdicts and Settlements:
$280,000 Recovery For 41-Year-Old Woman Injured On Steps In New York
Stavros E. Sitinas obtained a $280,000 recovery for a 41-year-old woman who sustained fractures to her left tibia and fibula after falling down several steps inside her apartment building. The accident occurred when the nosing of a step broke as the plaintiff was descending the staircase in her building. Mr. Sitinas and the plaintiff alleged that the marble interior staircase was dangerous and defective in that it had become worn down after years of use and posed a risk to the tenants of the building and their visitors.
The attorney for the owner of the building argued that the slight depression in the marble stairs was not dangerous, and in fact was no different than other marble stairs throughout New York City. He further argued that the plaintiff lived in this building for eight years before the accident and used these stairs three to four times daily without ever falling. He claimed the accident was simply a result of a lack of care by the plaintiff in descending the staircase, and not because of any defective condition.
To counter this, Mr. Sitinas retained an expert engineer to testify about the unsafe condition of the stairs. He opined that the building owners had not used reasonable care in maintaining the stairs and that this excessive wearing of the step had developed over many years and should have been fixed by the owners of the building.
Prior to trial, the defendant's attorney offered $100,000 to settle this case -- an amount that was rejected, and the case proceeded to trial. After the jurors entered into their second day of deliberations, Mr. Sitinas settled the case for $280,000.