Greene Broillet & Wheeler in Los Angeles is proud to be one of the region’s most trusted personal injury law firms. We have solidified our reputation yet again with a recent $12.2 million trial verdict for a slip and fall accident client. Despite suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the liable party did not take the case seriously and fought our client from the start. With Attorney Aaron Osten and Attorney Alan Van Gelder leading the way, our firm was able to defeat all counterarguments, prove the defendant was 100% liable, and land a significant courtroom win. Due to its complications and impressive result, the case was recently featured in the Daily Journal (Jessica Vu v. 2447 Pacific Coast Highway LLC, Mar Ventures Inc., Arris Builders Inc., DFS Flooring Inc., and Does 1-100, inclusive).
Details of the Office Slip & Fall Incident
Our client, 38-year-old Jessica Vu, worked as a counselor for children with autism in an office building in Hermosa Beach, California. On August 29th, 2016, Vu was working late studying for her licensing credential exam at the office. That evening, the defendants, a carpet cleaning crew working for DFS Flooring Inc., hired by the defendant building owners, 2447 PCH LLC, and property managers, Mar Ventures Inc., arrived and cleaned the common area hallways.
Vu and two co-workers eventually needed to clear out their offices for the carpet cleaning. While exiting the building, Vu walked across the wet carpet, opened the door to the stairwell, and walked across an epoxy landing. The epoxy landing had been recently installed and did not have adequate grip-and-slip resistance. According to the complaint, the wetness on Vu's shoes caused her to slip and fall down a flight of stairs, hitting her head on the concrete steps.
Vu drove herself home after the fall and went to urgent care the next day, where doctors diagnosed her with a head injury. Two days later, she began to suffer headaches and cognitive issues. Within several weeks, Vu's mental and cognitive abilities had declined, forcing her to resign from a career she loved and move back to her hometown in Florida.
Six years after her slip and fall, Vu continues to suffer from:
- Memory problems
- Issues with executive function
- Difficulty multitasking
- Dizziness and nausea
- Emotional problems
Taking the Defendants to Trial
During the 3-week trial, our legal team argued that the defendants improperly cleaned the carpet and failed to warn Vu about the wet carpet. "They cleaned the carpet and just left it behind; wet, no warning signs, no-slip mats, and just ignored the basic precautions, causing a catastrophic injury to our client who was simply trying to go home," noted trial attorney Aaron Osten. The defense tried to blame the incident on Vu entirely, though, arguing that she had been careless while exiting the building. We were able to successfully argue otherwise, though, showing that the average reasonable person with no background as a carpet cleaner would not know that their shoes could become so slippery. Furthermore, the cleaning company’s failure to take any precautions could not be set aside by any argument or evidence.
The jury found the defendants to be 100% liable for Vu's injury and awarded her for future medical treatment, future and past loss of earnings, and past and future non-economic damages. "We are enormously grateful that the jury recognized the insidious nature of a lifelong traumatic brain injury and our client's need for compensation," said lead trial attorney Alan Van Gelder. "There's more public awareness now about head injuries, which are often difficult to see until you understand the science and how it has affected the individual.”
Greene Broillet & Wheeler of Los Angeles has recovered billions of dollars for clients in California and nationwide. Our team of attorneys litigates complex personal injury cases—such as cases involving motor vehicle accidents, insurance bad faith, sexual abuse, catastrophic injuries, and more—exclusively working on the plaintiffs' side. To learn more about our premier firm and award-winning trial lawyers, please call us at (866) 634-4525 or contact us online at any time.