Morrison Mahoney Partner John Knight and Associate Scott Gilmond recently obtained a defense verdict after a four-day jury trial in Essex Superior Court (Salem) involving a slip and fall against a large fitness club.

Plaintiff claimed she slipped and fell entering the gym because of water on the floor.  It was raining on the day of the incident and the plaintiff claimed that there were no mats in the lobby area where patrons would enter.  She also claimed that in her 50 prior visits to the gym, mats were never present. The defendant claimed that the mats were present on the date of the accident and at all times, and the defendant also claimed that there were runners on the floor leading into the gym.  The plaintiff claimed substantial injuries, including a meniscus tear and ACL rupture which required surgery, and she claimed substantial ongoing health issues as a result of her injury.

John and Scott called an orthopedic surgeon who testified that plaintiff had longstanding pre-existing conditions and an extensive history of falls prior to the accident.  This history raised questions as to whether the plaintiff actually slipped and fell or whether she fell because of a pre-existing medical condition. John and Scott also highlighted the plaintiff medical records following the accident where she described her injury differently than she alleged in the lawsuit. The jury returned a defense verdict, finding no negligence on the part of the gym.