Trip and Fall: Appeal Won for Individual Injured at Work

If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, it is possible that your case could go to trial if a settlement cannot be reached. When this happens, a judge or jury may render an unfavorable verdict. If that occurs, your case is not necessarily over. An appellate attorney may be able to get you the results you deserve by appealing the adverse result. Read on to learn more about an appeal in a trip and fall case that Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s attorneys won on behalf of an injured client.

In an action brought in the Erie County Supreme Court, Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria represented an individual who fell at work after tripping on a floor mat that was curled and rippled. On his behalf, the firm brought suit against the company that maintained and supplied the mat. The company moved for summary judgment, claiming that the plaintiff could not prove the floor mat directly caused his injuries and that he would be unable to identify the true cause of his fall “without engaging in speculation.”

The trial court granted the company’s motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s action. On the plaintiff’s behalf, Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria appealed the decision to the New York State Appellate Division, Fourth Department. Senior partner John A. Collins represented the plaintiff on the appeal. On March 20, 2015 the Fourth Department ruled in the plaintiff’s favor and reversed the lower court’s order. On appeal, the defendants had again argued that the plaintiff’s testimony, in which he stated that he tripped over a ripple or raised area of the floor mat, was not strong enough to identify the floor mat as the cause of his fall. The court disagreed and concluded that the testimony was sufficient to show that other possible causes of the accident were “sufficiently remote or technical to enable [a] jury to reach [a] verdict based not upon speculation, but upon the logical inferences to be drawn from the evidence.” Further, the Fourth Department concluded that the plaintiff’s testimony that he did not remember seeing a defect in the mat before he fell did not entitle the defendant to summary judgment. The appellate court therefore reversed the trial court’s order and reinstated plaintiff’s action.

About John A. Collins

John A. Collins is a senior partner in the Accidents and Personal Injury department at Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria. He practices in the areas of Civil Appellate and Motion Practice. Mr. Collins has argued appeals before several courts, including the New York Court of Appeals, all four departments of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits.