GRSM Westchester Partners Donald Derrico and Julia Braun Secure Defense Verdict on Behalf of College

November 2023

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani Westchester Partners Donald Derrico and Julia Braun obtained a unanimous defense verdict in a slip-and-fall case on behalf of a well-known college in Long Island, New York. 

The plaintiff, a student at the college, alleged that, while showering in her dorm, she slipped and fell due to an unsecured drain cover. She claimed that, as a result, she fell and struck her head and was rendered unconscious for up to 10 minutes. In addition, she sustained a severe laceration to her head which required 30 staples and 20 stitches to close. The plaintiff alleged that she had previously complained that the shower drain covers were not screwed down and often moved when stepped on. As a result of her injury, the plaintiff claimed that she suffered from debilitating headaches and depression and was unable to work. The plaintiff alleged $6 million in future lost earnings and demanded $1.9 million to settle the case.

The GRSM team acknowledged that the drain cover was not screwed down but asserted that it was not necessary. Further, the witness who testified for GRSM's client testified that there were no records of any complaints regarding unsecured drain covers. Using the witnesses' testimony at trial regarding the dimensions of the shower and location of the drain, Mr. Derrico created a demonstrative replica of the shower on the floor of the courtroom using tape and was able to demonstrate through the plaintiff that she could not have fallen and struck her head as she testified doing. After deliberating for approximately one hour, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict.