Metro Detroit Injury Lawyers reached a pre-suit settlement earlier this month on a premises liability case involving a slip and fall on ice. Our client was injured early in the morning when he slipped and fell on the unsalted parking lot of his apartment complex as he attempted to access his car for work. Evidence showed that while the parking lot was plowed, it was never salted. On days when the temperature fluctuated above and below freezing, like the day our client was injured, the parking lot posed a significant hazard for residents who were required to cross the parking lot in order to gain access to their vehicles.
As a result, our client slipped and fell forward breaking his nose and suffering a concussion. He was immediately taken to the emergency room where his injuries were diagnosed and treated. While he was able to avoid surgery, the fractured nose required three trips to the emergency room as a result of several episodes of spontaneous bleeding.
In Michigan, slip and fall cases arising from ice and snow are particularly difficult as a result of the open and obvious doctrine, which states that the property owner is not liable if the hazard is discoverable upon a casual inspection. The insurance company for the apartment complex attempted to defend the case by arguing that while the ice may have been invisible, our client should have known that the parking lot may be icy due to the temperature and time of year. The attorney for the injured slip and fall victim, Cameron Peralta, repeatedly stressed that the apartment complex never salts their parking lot, a parking lot which residents (many of whom are older) are required to cross in order to access their vehicles.
The parties were able to avoid a lawsuit and reached a settlement in the amount of $27,500, which is significant given the difficulty of slip and fall cases involving snow and ice in Michigan, and that the injured party was still able to work throughout his recovery. The settlement at this stage of the case avoids a long protracted lawsuit and allows our client to move forward with his life.