Hospital Employee Who Broke Ankle on Uneven Stairs Receives $112,500 Settlement From Employer Who Did Not Build to Code | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

What Happened

Our Virginia slip and fall client tripped on an uneven stair at the hospital where she worked and broke her ankle. She needed surgery to repair to her ankle, and complications from that procedure resulted in a fracture in one of the bones in her foot. Recovering and returning to work took months.


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Key Legal Strategy

The hospital employee filed an injury claim with her employer’s insurance company, but that was denied. The insurer argued that since our Virginia slip and fall client tripped at her usual workplace, she could only apply to the state’s workers’ compensation program to have her medical bills paid and lost wages replaced.

When the woman hired our Virginia slip and fall attorney, he hired an architectural engineering expert to examine the stairs where she tripped. That expert discovered that the hospital had failed to comply with state building codes related to ensuring a uniform height and depth on each step on a stairway.

Our firm’s lawyer also produced a timesheet and co-workers’ testimony that showed his client to be off the clock at the time of her injury. Since she was not engaged in work-related activities when she tripped and broke her ankle, she would not succeed with a workers’ comp application.

Tough negotiations and numerous pretrial hearings in court convinced the hospital’s insurance company that our Virginia slip and fall attorney had the evidence needed to convince a jury that his client fell because her employer created a hazardous condition. The insurer ultimately settled all claims for $112,500.

Winning a slip and fall case in Virginia requires showing that a person or company acted negligently and created a situation in which an avoidable injury was likely to occur. In this case, the negligence consisted of ignoring building codes put in place specifically to reduce people’s risk for tripping.

Staff: Staff attorney