Retrial Of $530,000 Manhattan Jury Verdict Ordered For Ankle Fracture

On January 3, 2019, the appellate court covering civil trials in Manhattan, overruled a trial judge who declined to throw out a jury verdict awarding $530,000 to a woman who fractured her ankle because of a fall on a staircase. The defendant premises owner operated a restaurant with a staircase. The plaintiff claimed she fell while descending the staircase because she didn't see the final step as a result of a design or construction flaw that created an optical illusion. This argument was premised on a claim that the final step was of a different color, size and material from the other steps. However, there was no expert testimony to support this theory. Prior to trial there was an Order issued that found the NYC Building Code which does address the dimensions of some staircases, was not applicable to the restaurant staircase.

The appellate court ordered a new trial because when the jury was deliberating, they sent a note to the Court asking if the restaurant staircase was "up to code". The appeals court held that based on the pre-trial Order: "Rather than responding that there was no evidence that the code was either violated or complied with, the jury should have been informed that the building code was not applicable to the staircase". Landau v Balbona Rest. Corp., 2019 NY Slip Op 00051

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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