A child who fell off a bench at the Falls of Inverrary condominium complex in Broward County, Florida. I settled the case for the child for $30,464.
She suffered a distal humerus fracture. The humerus is the upper arm bone. The distal humerus is the part closest to the elbow.
We filed an injury lawsuit to preserve the statute of limitations. A guardian of the property needed to be appointed since the net settlement was over $15,000. The minor child was 8 years old when she fell.
We still keep in contact with her parents as they are awesome, friendly people. The girl was sitting on a bench in the park of the association where she resided.
We Claimed Bench Wasn’t Secured
She claimed that the bench was not properly secured to the ground.
She claimed that it was loose and caused her to fall. On the day of the accident, she went to Broward Health Emergency department.
She Fractured Her Elbow
She was diagnosed with an elbow fracture. Her elbow was casted. It was placed in a sling.
She received follow-up medical treatment for about 1 year and 3 months.
Mt. Hawley Insurance Company Insured the Condominium
The condominium association was insured with Mt. Hawley Insurance Company. Mt. Hawley is a subsidiary of RLI Corp.
I know an attorney who says that Mt. Hawley has a reputation as a below average insurer. This is in terms of fairly paying Florida injury claims.
Mt. Hawley is a surplus lines insurer in Florida. This means that persons insured by surplus lines carriers are not protected under the Florida Insurance Guaranty Act (FIGA) with respect to any right of recovery for the obligation of an insolvent unlicensed insurer.
Her parents hired us to make an injury claim against all responsible parties. We made a personal injury claim against the condominium association.
During pre-suit negotiations, Mt. Hawley made a few settlement offers. Her parents agreed to settle the liability claim with Mt. Hawley.
We Settled the Case Pre-Suit for $30,464
The liability settlement was for $30,000.00. Mt. Hawley paid an additional $464.03 in medical payments coverage (Medpay) benefits.
The settlement is subject to court approval. This is because the total settlement was over $15,000. We filed a lawsuit after the settlement to preserve the statute of limitations.
Insurer Argued Child/Parents Were At Fault
The claims adjuster argued that there is a significant chance that a jury would find that the condo association was not negligent. He argued that the mother was negligent for failing to supervise the minor.
He said that the mother let the girl climb and/or stand on a bench. He argued that the photos of the bench show that the bench was heavy. He said it was heavy enough for the legs to have sank into the soil approximately two inches.
Adjuster Argued Condo Never Had Issues With the Bench Before the Accident
He said that the condo association stated that they have never had to reset either of the benches – before or after this incident.
Adjuster Argued Girl Was Too Light Too Tip the Bench
He said that it is hard to fathom how a 75 lb., 9 year old girl could cause one of these benches to tip even if she was:
- in a proper seated position; or
- standing on the seat; or
- sitting on the seat back or walking on it like a balance beam.
The adjuster told us that this is a case of a young girl playing on the benches in an unsafe manner. He said that the security guard at the condo warned her not to stand on the bench.
He said she suffered an unfortunate accident. He said that the condominium association was not negligent. The case settled in 2015.
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