Leaking Faucet Causes Slip and Fall Accident

On January 16, 2012, the plaintiff, a sixty-two year old woman, went to a Boston restaurant on her lunch break. Upon finishing lunch, she exited the restaurant, briefly walked along the City sidewalk, then suddenly slipped and fell on ice. The plaintiff presented to a nearby emergency room where radiographs confirmed she sustained several fractures to her left ankle.

Plaintiff’s counsel was retained within days of the accident for a potential claim against the City. In the immediate investigation, however, it was discovered that the pool of ice which the plaintiff slipped and fell resulted from a leaking faucet affixed to the property aside the restaurant the plaintiff exited. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant property owner’s negligence caused this accident by failing to fix a leaky faucet which resulted in an unnatural accumulation of ice.

At all times, the defendant disputed liability alleging that the defendant did not have notice of this condition as the property owner resided in a different state. To defeat this allegation, plaintiff’s counsel secured several statements from nearby tenants, properties also owned by the defendant, indicating that they reported and complained of this hazardous condition prior to the accident. Despite this, the defendant made no effort to remedy the leaking faucet. The defendant also alleged that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent in that she should have had notice of the ice as she walked over it when first entering the restaurant.

The plaintiff’s orthopedic physician performed an open reduction/internal fixation operation on her ankle within days of the accident. She underwent conservative treatment thereafter and ultimately discharged from any further medical care six months post-accident. The plaintiff had an excellent healing result and returned to her everyday lifestyle without limitation. The case settled a month prior to the one year anniversary of the accident date without suit having to be filed.