The Complex Continuum of Premises Liability
Karissa Owens and Jesse Shurman
Central to any strong legal case is the capacity to effectively—and tangibly—connect the dots. And in a recent premises liability case, the Rissman team demonstrated how surrounding circumstances don’t automatically equate to causation when it comes to the medical implications of an event.
In this recent case, Rissman attorneys Karissa Owens and Jesse Shurman obtained a defense verdict in a four-week jury trial concerning an electrocution injury at a Fort Lauderdale condominium complex.
The plaintiff and his wife sued the condo association and its property manager for failing to inspect, maintain, and repair the dated electrical switchgear (which undisputedly caused the electrical event) and for failing to warn of its dangerous condition. The alleged injuries from the event resulted in a diagnosis of CRPS in the left foot, with additional ongoing issues related to spinal cord implications and additional foot, knee, and shoulder issues, plus sleeping problems and the aggravation of various existing conditions.
At the time of the event, the plaintiff’s wife was recovering from surgery, and the plaintiff was purportedly handling the bulk of the household responsibilities, including the care of a teenage son with autism. It was also alleged that the plaintiff was a 50:50 partner in a business that was negotiating for purchase, but ultimately, the sale fell through due to the accident and caused the plaintiff to forgo the potential windfall from the sales earnings.
The plaintiffs requested damages in the millions in closing arguments. The jury deliberated over two days before returning a defense verdict.
Special thanks to Seth Virshup, Taylor Boyd, M. Jr. Olivera, Theresa Bardugone, Mary Lou Bigelow, and the many associates and law clerks who helped prepare depo outlines, legal research, and pre/intra-trial motions in service of this case.