Our client left her apartment and was headed towards the stairs leading to the outside door when she slipped on a puddle of water causing her to fall down the stairs. The 17-year-old instinctively went to grab onto the staircase handrail, but it was not there. As a result of the fall, our client suffered a fractured ankle.
The building owner argued that a handrail was in place at the time that she fell. There were no photographs documenting the “missing” handrail. This became the typical “he said/she said.” Utilizing digital photographs that were demanded by the Finz firm of the defendant, a photographic enlargement showed an additional screw hole near the handrail bracket of the handrail that the landlord claimed had always been in place. With this piece of evidence, the Finz firm argued that there in fact was a prior handrail that had been removed from the stairway, and it was during that period of time that our client fell. Armed with that evidence, the defendant, who originally took a no-pay position, was forced into settlement discussions. When the case could not be settled, it was prepared for trial. Just prior to jury selection in Nassau County, the Finz attorneys were able to obtain a favorable settlement in the sum of $321,905 from the landlord.