Slip and fall outside grocery store
Our client, age 46 female, slipped and fell on a piece of wet cardboard on a faux brick tile
walkway in Harlem, NY. Her fall caused serious and permanent injuries including tears in her
left knee, tears in her left shoulder and disc injuries to her neck and back. She had surgery to
repair her left knee and another surgery to repair her left shoulder; she was recommended to have
spinal surgery, but did not undergo that procedure.
Greenberg Law P.C. argued that the store negligently placed cardboard on the walkway at the
store’s entrance, and that on the rainy day of our client’s fall the cardboard had turned mushy.
That soft and slippery cardboard caused her to slip and skid as she exited the store.
The lawyers and insurance company for the supermarket refused to admit they had done
anything wrong and refused to offer her fair compensation for her injuries. The supermarket
manager maintained that he had no memory of any incident, and he testified that the supermarket
never used cardboard in place of outdoor mats.
Our team refused to give up or settle for anything less than fair compensation, so the case went
to trial. Despite the challenge of not having photo evidence of the cardboard that caused her to
fall, we insisted that the supermarket was responsible for the condition. To prove our case, we
successfully obtained sworn affidavits from individuals who had seen the store put down
cardboard, and we secured a report from an EMT at the scene stating that she told them she had
slipped on wet cardboard. The supermarket’s lawyers filed numerous motions at trial trying to
argue to the court that there were a number of problems with our case, but the judge denied all of
The trial, which took place during the challenging reopening of the courts during Covid, when
everyone had to be masked and socially distanced, lasted six days. The jury had to decide the
case based on which witnesses and experts were more knowledgeable and more believable. In a
passionate closing argument by Alan Greenberg, he appealed to the jury asking whether they
truly believed that our client had been so clever and so devious a liar as to make up the idea of
the cardboard being at the entrance in the ten minutes before the EMTs arrived; he asked the jury
whether they believed that she then faked her limp and limited range of motion, and agreed to
undergo multiple surgeries and all types of therapy if she was not seriously injured in this fall.
Mr. Greenberg asked the jury to return a verdict of $600,000 in past damages, and $3 million in
future damages for the rest of her life.
In less than two hours the jury came back and announced that yes, the supermarket had
negligently caused our client’s fall and injuries. The jury returned a verdict of $6.2 million for
past and future damages and pain and suffering. The parties entered into a high-low agreement
prior to the verdict of $275,000 to $1,000,000, so the case ultimately settled for $1 million.
At the time of the publication of this summary in September 2021, this verdict is still the second
highest jury verdict in the State of New York, and the highest jury verdict in New York County,
for the year 2021.