I recently completed a trial in the New York State Supreme Court in Erie County in a case where an individual fell at a house that she was renting from a landlord. This insurance company is one of the companies that’s known for not settling cases, and they oftentimes will push you to trial. In this case, they decided after discovery and depositions were completed that they would not pay anything on this case.
We proceeded to a jury trial in front of the Honorable Judge Siwek. The case revolved around the fact that the actual injury was not witnessed. She was walking outside of her house, walked into her backyard, went back in, and she stumbled, and the railing allegedly let loose. Because it was not witnessed, the insurance company didn’t believe that it happened in the manner in which she had described.
More importantly, they had indicated they thought, since my client knew that the railing was in that condition, that she should not have been using that railing. I was able to establish that she was not using the railing at the time that the incident happened – in fact, she was stumbling and just put her hand out to catch herself. After a jury trial, the insurance company had no choice because the jury came back and made a decision that the the landlord was responsible for my client’s fall.