Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall Guy

Imagine you are a personal injury law firm and this happens:

On December 10, 2003, Robert Friedrich was in a car accident and as a result he contacted the personal injury firm of Fetterman & Associates, P.A. ("Fetterman"), and scheduled a consultation to discuss the possibility of legal representation. On December 19, 2003, Friedrich met with an associate of the firm, and was sitting in the firm’s conference room when his chair collapsed. Friedrich fell backward, hit his head, and landed on the floor. A few minutes after the incident, Friedrich was informed that the firm had a conflict and would not be able to represent him in his auto collision case.

After the chair collapse incident, Friedrich complained of worsening headaches and neck pain, severe back pain, extremity numbness, and sleep disturbances. Friedrich was seen by multiple doctors for these symptoms for almost two years. Then in 2006, Friedrich underwent a spinal fusion surgery, which alleviated a majority of the symptoms.

Subsequently, Friedrich sued Fetterman for negligence on the grounds that Friedrich was a business invitee and that Fetterman had negligently failed to warn Friedrich of the chair’s dangerous condition.

The Florida Supreme Court reinstated the suit, finding that the trial court had improperly reweighed the expert testimony. (Mike Frisch)

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