A.Z. was a 67-year-old truck driver referred to Lipkin & Apter after a fall that occurred while making a delivery in December, 2011. At the time of the incident, A.Z. was walking through an outdoor loading dock area towards the entrance of the building where he had a delivery to make. He slipped, and fell, on a substance that had leaked out of a dumpster, injuring his shoulder.
A.Z. completed his work duties that day. After work, he sought the assistance of a company doctor. Following a series of visits, a referral to an orthopedic surgeon and an MRI, he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff. A.Z. eventually underwent successful shoulder surgery.
The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Lipkin & Apter filed suit against both the warehouse (for failing to properly maintain the property), and the garbage company (for providing a poorly constructed and maintained garbage container). The Defendants contested the allegations. We took several depositions from witnesses and warehouse employees in order to establish the dangerous condition of the warehouse loading dock surface and use of the garbage container. After a year, we located another truck driver who had seen A.Z. fall. This witness provided critical information about A.Z.’s accident, following which, the Defendants raised their settlement offer from $20,000 to $95,000.
Illinois law is unfavorable for slip and fall cases, allowing several defenses to a claim. Perseverance and detail are necessary for a successful outcome. In A.Z.’s case, this meant locating a witness after many months of futile investigation. Without this witness, a jury may have decided the case in favor of the Defendants. Instead, A.Z. was able to walk away risk free with an amount of money that was satisfactory.