Hernan* v. HOA (confidential)

Matthew Paul Krupnick

Case Conclusion Date:January 1, 2011

Practice Area:Personal Injury

Outcome:$1,300,000.00

Description:KRUPNICK & KRUPNICK COULDN'T BE PROUDER OF THE $1.3 MILLION DOLLAR SETTLEMENT OBTAINED ON A HOTLY DISPUTED SLIP/TRIP AND FALL CASE!! AGAINST ALL ODDS, MATTHEW KRUPNICK WITH HIS AMAZING TEAM SETTLED A PREMISES LIABILITY CASE INVOLVING A HOTLY DISPUTED LIABILITY FIGHT THAT SEEMS TO BE THE TALK OF THE TOWN (AT LEAST IN THE LITIGATION WORLD ANYWAYS). THIS WAS A CASE WHERE OUR CLIENT SLIPPED ON WHAT THE DEFENSE CALLED “AN OPEN AND OBVIOUS, TRIVIAL ISSUE/DEFECT”. ESSENTIALLY, OUR CLIENT STEPPED ON AND THEN FELL DUE TO A TREE DROPPING ON A COMMON AREA AT HIS APARTMENT BUILDING. WE SUED THE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION BASED ON THEIR NEGLIGENCE IN ALLOWING THESE TREE DROPPINGS (CIRCULAR, SPIKEY THISTLE TYPE DROPPINGS THAT START GREEN AND SPIKEY AND TURN BROWN AND WILTED OVER TIME) TO REMAIN AN ONGOING PROBLEM DESPITE BEING WELL AWARE OF THEIR PRESENCE AND THE POTENTIAL FOR ACCIDENT OR INJURY. BUT THE DEFENSE HUNG TIGHT TO THEIR ARGUMENT THAT IT WAS A TRIVIAL ISSUE AND THAT THE PLAINTIFF (OUR CLIENT), WHO LIVED THERE, SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE EXISTENCE OF THESE TREE DROPPINGS. WELL, AFTER CARE PREPPING (WHICH IS CRITICAL IN ALL CASES, ESPECIALLY FOR DEPOSITIONS), OUR CLIENT, HIS GIRLFRIEND THAT HE LIVED WITH, AND AN INDEPENDENT WITNESS, ALL HELPED TAKE AWAY THE ARGUMENT THAT THE ACCIDENT WAS EVEN PARTIALLY OUR CLIENT’S FAULT. STILL, THE DEFENSE AND EVEN SOME PLAINTIFF'S LAWYERS QUESTIONED WHETHER IT WAS FINANCIALLY INTELLIGENT TO LITIGATE THE CASE WITH THE UNDYING DETERMINATION MR. KRUPNICK EXUDED. SO, WITH A STROG POSITION ON LIABILITY IN OUR MINDS, WE NOW HAD TO ARGUE DAMAGES. SADLY, OUR CLIENT, WHO HAD BEEN HEALTHY AND HADN’T TREATED WITH A DOCTOR IN WELL OVER TEN YEARS PRIOR TO THIS, HAD TO HAVE A BACK SURGERY (A LUMBAR FUSION), AND WHILE THE SURGERY HELPED HIS BACK, IT APPEARS IT HAD A FREAK SIDE EFFECT AND CAUSED MORE INJURY TO OUR CLIENT'S FOOT, MAKING HIS DAMAGES EVEN MORE SEVERE. WHILE THE CASE COULD HAVE BEEN WORTH 5 MILLION, IT COULD ALSO HAVE BEEN WORTH ZERO WITH A JURY. YOU JUST NEVER KNOW THESE DAYS. SO AFTER A GOOD BATTLE, WE SETTLED IT FOR $1.3 MILLION DOLLARS. THE CLIENT WAS MORE THAN HAPPY AND WE WERE PLEASED TO HAVE HELPED HIM GET THE MEDICAL TREATMENT HE NEEDED AND HAVE PLENTY OF MONEY LEFT AFTER ALL OF HIS MEDICAL NEEDS WERE MET. WITH A 1.3 MILLION DOLLAR OFFER, IT WAS SIMPLY TOO HARD TO RISK A POTENTIAL ZERO AT TRIAL (AS THESE CASES IN PARTICULAR, ESPECIALLY WITH AN ARGUMENT THAT THE DANGEROUS CONDITION WAS OPEN AND OBVIOUS, MR. KRUPNICK WAS IN AGREEMENT WITH HIS CLIENT THAT IT WAS WISE TO TAKE THE SETTLEMENT (ON THE EVE OF TRIAL). WHILE WE HAVE HAD BIGGER SETTLEMENTS AND VERDICTS, WE COULDN'T BE MORE PROUD THAN WE ARE WITH THE RESULTS OF THIS MOST DIFFICULT CASE. THE KRUPNICK FIRM’S SUCCESS ON THIS CASE IS ONE THAT HAS SHOWN ALL OF THE BIG LAW FIRMS AND INSURANCE COMPANIES THAT THEY CAN AND WILL FIGHT AND SUCCEED FOR ALL CLIENTS, EVEN ON THE MOST DIFFICULT OF CASES.