PSB Obtains $3 Million for Woman Injured in Fall Due to Dangerous Condition

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PSB attorney Robert Glassman and Michael V. Sacchetto of Hanning & Sacchetto, LLP obtained a $3,000,000 settlement for a 28-year-old Whittier woman suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) after falling and injuring her fifth metatarsal due to a dangerous condition on city property.

Plaintiff Rasell Chavez was exiting her vehicle in front of her Whittier home when she lost her footing on a broken curb, causing her to fall and sustain an injury to her right pinky toe. A visit to the emergency room the next day confirmed a broken fifth metatarsal displaced fracture. Ms. Chavez was put in a splint, sought orthopedic care and wore a CAM boot for approximately two months. For more than two years following her fall, Ms. Chavez’s foot pain remained constant and she was ultimately diagnosed with CRPS by three doctors who all agreed that the young woman would require future care and treatment related to CRPS for the remainder of her life.

Ms. Chavez sued the City of Whittier for failing to repair and maintain the broken curb, creating a dangerous condition. The City admitted that the curb constituted a dangerous condition but also argued that Plaintiff was comparatively at fault, as the condition was open and obvious. Plaintiff established that the city had both actual and constructive notice of the dangerous condition for years before the incident but failed to do anything about it until it was already too late.  The City also disputed the nature and extent of Plaintiff’s damages and had conducted hours of sub rosa video surveillance of her around her home and while she was at work.

The City agreed to pay $3 million to settle the case before trial.