The plaintiff was a retired Ridgefield, Connecticut school janitor who lived in Woodbury, Connecticut. In May of 2011, after completing his shopping at the Southbury K-Mart Plaza, he tripped and fell over a wheel stop that abutted a sidewalk within the plaza parking lot. The net result was a fracture of his right femoral shaft. There were no witnesses. The plaintiff died of unrelated causes eighteen months after his fall. The engineering firm of George Torello of Essex, Connecticut investigated the wheel stop and determined that the structural set up was defective. The wheel stop was not centered with the parking space, a bollard was not used, the parking lot stall was too narrow, the stop was set at too high an elevation and the wheel stop impeded the exit discharge to a public way.
After the plaintiff died, our office applied to the Southbury Probate Court, District 22 and had the decedent's sister appointed as the decedent's administratrix. A civil law suit was then filed in the Waterbury Superior Court by us on behalf of the admnistratrix. The premises liability theory was grounded in negligence. Connecticut General Statute 52-594 allows one additional year from the date of death to prosecute the action assuming the statute of limitations has not run by the date of death. Although there was no witness to the fall, the fall had been reconstructed by photograph and written report by George Torello Engineers.
The decedent was assigned a 25% impairment of the right lower extremity but had only lived for eighteen months after the fall. He was treated by orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Dunleavy of Danbury, Connecticut. The decedent's prior medical condition complicated the decedent's case. The decedent had no outstanding medical bills and no wage loss. This premises liability case settled for $50,000.00 which was approved by the Connecticut Probate Court District 22. There was no offer before suit. This case had significant underlying challenges to it.