Final Verdict: Unmarked Step Causes Injuries

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Final Verdict: Unmarked Step Causes Injuries

If you’ve ever been climbing steps while carrying something that blocks your view, you know the feeling when you expect another step after you’ve already reached the top. Your foot drops farther than you had anticipated, and you realize you overestimated the number of steps in the staircase. After a moment, you regain your balance and proceed.Final Verdict: Unmarked Step Causes Injuries

It might be a momentary annoyance in most instances, but a missed step can be a serious problem in certain situations. Kenneth Blevins, a 58-year-old retired police officer, was attending a convention at the Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel in Virginia Beach on May 2013. It was evening, around half an hour after sunset, and Kenneth was walking across an unlit outdoor patio near the hotel swimming pool.

Unexpectedly, Kenneth felt the pathway drop out from under his feet, and he fell hard into a concrete wall. Pain shot through his right shoulder. He had stepped off an abrupt drop between a brick walkway to a lower-level walkway. Because the outdoor area was unlit and there was no handrail or another mechanism to identify the drop, he hadn’t seen it. The bricks were already slightly uneven, making it even more difficult to identify the drop-off without light.

Kenneth was taken by ambulance to a local emergency room, where they determined that his shoulder was dislocated. He also had abrasions and contusions on his face and abdomen. Following up with an orthopedic surgeon a week later resulted in a diagnostic MRI, which revealed tears to the tendons in his shoulder and a tear in his right biceps muscle. A month after the incident, Kenneth underwent surgery to have the tears repaired by arthroscopy. Cohen & Cohen

It took six months of physical therapy before Kenneth was able to regain moderate use of his arm. However, he still experienced occasional pain and had difficulty extending his arm backward. Kenneth sued Clearwater Investment Associates, the owner of the Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel, alleging failure to warn, dangerous conditions, and negligent repair resulting in personal injuries.

Kenneth had nearly $45,000 in medical bills and had been unable to work as a part-time bailiff during the period of his treatment. His lawsuit claimed damages for past and future pain and suffering in addition to his medical costs. The hotel’s attorneys filed documents arguing that Kenneth was partly to blame for his injuries, since he had crossed the pathway earlier in the day and should have known about the problem with the walkway. However, it became known that the hotel had painted marking lines and installed handrails at the exact site of Kenneth’s fall within a week of the incident.

Ordinarily, a lawsuit goes through a period known as “discovery” in which both parties disclose all relevant documents which may become important at trial. This process can take a lengthy amount of time and represents a significant cost for both parties. Before discovery could begin, however, the attorneys for the hotel decided it would be better to settle the case than to risk high losses at trial. After negotiations, the hotel decided to pay Kenneth and his attorneys $75,000 in compensation for his medical bills and injuries from the unmarked steps

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L Proctor
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My experience with Cohen &Cohen was beyond my expectations. Jill did an amazing job with negotiating on my behalf and got me way more money than I anticipated. Thank you for having my back.
Ebony Stoutmiles
June 23, 2022.
To say that I am happy with the outcome of my case is the understatement of the century! Jill Stanley is a BEAST at what she does. That is the only way to explain it. She takes no prisoners. She and her team are very skilled and knowledgeable. I am so happy I trusted them to do their job and rolled with Jill's suggestions. I would choose Jill again 100 times. She settled my case for more than I imagined I would receive. I was literally in tears. It is the best feeling to know my pain isn't for naught. Wayne Cohen and Kristopher Yorke were nothing short of amazing. They have the patience of saints. I'm 100% certain that I got on their last nerves with my frustration and tears at every other call I had with them. Being in pain and wanting to just be able to heal was all I could focus on, but they helped me realize that I also had to focus on the bigger picture (the case) so I could put this piece behind me. As a high-strung individual with anxiety, it was hard for me to not worry and let them do their jobs, but they reassured me all of the time that they had this. To be injured before the start of the pandemic and have to receive regular, weekly treatment while others are able to stay home is anxiety inducing. I was in pain, I was anxious, and I was just hoping it all worked out. It more than worked out. I hope Jill, Siri, and Kris know how much their hard work and "hanging in there" meant to me. I am eternally grateful. I can't recommend you all enough. If you choose this law firm, you won't be sorry!
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COHEN & COHEN ARE THE BEST I WAS INVOLVED IN A REAR END CAR CRASH AND 2 YEARS LATER I HAVE RECEIVED MY SETTLEMENT I AM VERY EXCITED TO SAY BRYAN!!! IS THE MAN HE INSURED THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF ME AND THEY DID 100% ANY QUESTIONS I ASKED THEY WERE ANSWERED. Jill and SIRI WAS ALSO REMARKABLE AND SHOWED THEY REALLY CARED I RECOMMEND COHEN &COHEN TO ANYONE THEY ALSO MADE SURE I GOT MORE THAN EXPECTED WHICH WAS AMAZING I APPRECIATE YOU GUYS THANK U💯
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