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Elderly Client Suffers mTBI in Slip and Fall – $800,000

In addition to reading extensively and cooking for her family, our client, a retired grandmother, also helped with raising her teenage grandson. One clear and sunny morning as she walked back from his nearby bus stop, she fell hard on an uneven and raised sidewalk ledge at her apartment complex.

The fall resulted in a broken parietal bone above her brow area. Her daughter and a nearby neighbor attempted to help her up, but failing to do so, called an ambulance. Upon her arrival at the emergency room, doctors found the broken bone had resulted in a brain bleed that required an emergency craniotomy.

Although the landlord of the Fresno complex was aware of the uneven sidewalk, which had lifted over time due to nearby tree root growth, it remained unrepaired. In their motion to dismiss the case, the defendants used this fact to claim the condition of the sidewalk was open and obvious. 

For more than two years, the defendants denied liability and refused to offer our client any compensation for the mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), emergency surgery and long-term effects from her fall. They also hired a battery of medical experts who argued that she suffered from age-related dementia, not a traumatic brain injury.

Rather than argue against the defendants’ expert opinions about our client’s age-related degeneration, Dunnion Law hired a neuropsychologist to test our client’s cognitive abilities and had her examined by a neurologist to document her pre-existing condition. In their expert opinion and presentation of their assessments, they effectively demonstrated how the mTBI actually amplified her pre-existing condition. In short, her fall-related mTBI, coupled with her age-related decline, made her especially susceptible to feeling and experiencing significant deficits in her cognitive abilities, including memory loss, struggling with walking and general balance, and disrupted sleep patterns.

Using the medical evidence and expert assessments, our attorney built a strong case and argument that resulted in the defendant offering an $800,000 settlement. Our client now has the means to buy a home where she can provide a secure and safe place for her and her grandson to live.