A woman in Winter Springs, Florida, was awarded $366,000 in a lawsuit against the city of Orlando after she suffered serious injuries in a slip-and-fall accident.
Mary Ann Schwabe, 66, tripped over a curb when returning home from an Orlando Magic basketball game on Nov. 12, 2010. She was walking back to her car with her son, daughter-in-law and husband when the accident occurred. Schwabe sued the city in 2012 for negligence.
According to the lawsuit, the sidewalk on Garland Avenue was “significantly uneven.” The retired city of Orlando employee hit her head on the curb and was admitted to a hospital for one week with a broken left elbow, left leg and right ankle. She spent an additional six weeks at a rehabilitation center after the accident.
A six-member jury awarded the damages to Schwabe in a trial on Oct. 16, 2015. However, the city is only required to pay $100,000 due to Florida’s sovereign immunity cap. The cap limits the amount government agencies must pay when they are found at fault.
In order to hold a city liable for injuries that result from slip-and-fall accidents on public streets or sidewalks, one must show the city was negligent in keeping them reasonably safe and that the negligence caused the accident. In addition, they failed to repair the hazardous condition despite knowing about it.
It is important to note that determining fault can be more complicated than it might seem. If you were injured and you believe someone else is fully or partially to blame, contact Chalik & Chalik to learn more about your rights.