Our client fell over a pipe, requiring a shoulder replacement, and the
insurance company denied the case. She had a five hundred dollar offer
but we won her nearly a million dollars. Our case was featured in
Missouri Lawyers Weekly this week. Read more from the article below:
Joan Alter, an employee of the St. Louis Science Center, was walking in
from the parking lot when she tripped over a support from a temporary
barrier, said her attorney Mark Cantor, of Cantor Injury Law. The fencing
was hidden with a tarp and the piping in question stuck out just after
she turned the corner, Cantor said.
“She didn’t see it. She fell forward and injured her shoulder
and her knee,” Cantor said. “She ended up having a total shoulder
replacement as a result. It was our position that was a dangerous hidden
condition of property and that it was a construction defect.”
Alter fractured her right knee in addition to injuring her left shoulder.
Cantor said the injuries forced her to retire.
The plaintiff filed suit against three contractors involved and eventually
received three-quarters of a million dollars from them. Alberici Constructors
and Castle Contracting paid $637,500 with the remainder coming from Consolidated
Alter also received more than $216,960 in workers’ compensation.
Cantor obtained a waiver of subrogation in the matter so that his client
would not have to return any of that money after the award. Alter received
a total of $966,960 for the case.
“That is sometimes an obstacle to resolution because you’ve
got to pay back the monies that were paid in workers’ compensation
but in this case we were able to convince the Science Center to settle
the case with a waiver of subrogation,” he said. “In exchange,
it closes out the case forever on any future medical or other issues.”
The Science Center was never sued for liability in the matter, he said.
Initially the defendant contractors denied that the issue was a defect
and contended it was open and obvious, Cantor said. However, he said there
was little dispute over the extent of damages.
“I think everyone believed that she had serious injuries from this,”
he said. “Workers’ compensation accepted it.”
Cantor said he resolved the workers’ compensation matter first so
as to obtain the waiver.
Erica Briscoe of Baty, Holm, Numrich & Otto was listed as representing
Consolidated Fence and Derek Ruzicka of Pitzer Snodgrass was listed as
representing Alberici. Both declined comment. Robert J. Wulff of Evans
& Dixon was listed as representing Castle Contracting. He did not
return a call requesting comment.
Cantor said Scott Annunziata represented the defense in the separate workers’
compensation matter. He did not return a request for comment.