$192,515.16: Hole in Parking Lot Causes 73 Year-Old Woman to Fall, Fracture Femur

CASE DESCRIPTION: On September 3, 2005, Mattalyne H, age 73 at the time, was going to have her hair done at a beauty academy in Euclid Plaza Shopping Center in Anaheim, California.  Mrs. H is an elderly woman who had a total hip replacement surgery in October, 2004, but had completely recovered and was fully mobile approximately 2 months before the incident.

Mrs. H. arrived at the Euclid Plaza Shopping Center with her son, Daryle H, on the morning of Saturday, September 3, 2005.  She exited Daryle’s vehicle, took Daryle’s right arm, and proceeded to walk through the parking lot towards the beauty academy.  After waiting for vehicular traffic traveling across the parking lot in front of the beauty academy, Daryle and Mrs. H proceeded toward the academy.  The next thing they both knew, Mrs. H. was on the ground and in significant pain.  She had fallen in a hole of broken asphalt in the parking lot, and suffered serious injuries, including a right femur fracture.  Mrs. H. was wearing sturdy tennis shoes at the time, and neither Daryle nor Mrs. H perceived the dangerous condition posed by the deteriorated condition of the parking lot prior to Mrs. H.’s fall.

RESULT:  $192,515.16

Plaintiff sued the property manager of Euclid Plaza Shopping Center under a theory of premises liability.  Plaintiff asserted that Kaufman Properties failed to maintain the property in a reasonable manner, insofar as the property was in disrepair, and that the parking lot where Plaintiff fell was riddled with holes from broken and worn down asphalt with no fewer than three significant depressions in the asphalt.  The hole which caused Plaintiff to fall was between one and one half and two inches deep, measuring approximately 18 inches long and 32 inches wide.  Neither the Plaintiff, nor her son observed the hole until after Mrs. H. had fallen.

Plaintiff alleged that such constituted a dangerous, concealed condition.

Defendant asserted that the condition of the parking lot where Plaintiff was, was not a dangerous condition, and, if it was, it was open and obvious, such that Plaintiff should have observed, and avoided the hole.

TYPE OF CASE: Trip and Fall, Premises Liability

INJURIES: Fractured Right Femur (Plaintiff had undergone a total right hip replacement approximately one year prior to this incident)

DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT: September 3, 2005, Euclid Plaza Shopping Center,
Anaheim, California



Casey R. Johnson, Esq.
For Plaintiff – Mattalyne H

Robert P. Baker, Esq.
For Defendant – Kaufman Properties