Premises Liability: Hole




Stepping off the sidewalk in front of a Starbucks at night in a dimly-lit shopping center, the plaintiff inadvertently stepped into a large hole in the abutting parking lot surface, that he could neither see nor avoid.  The accident tore the tendon/ligament in the victim’s ankle and severely aggravated a prior neuromuscular disorder, fibromyalgia.

My work on this project

To prepare for trial, I:

  • Conducted a detailed accident-scene analysis and investigation
  • Took an extensive array of daytime and nighttime scene photographs
  • Produced an extensive series of technical illustrations and photo-analyses to demonstrate where, how and why this accident occurred


With the aid of this presentation, a pre-trial settlement was obtained from the defendant’s insurance carrier.

(1) The Overall Scene

The document below presents a graphic-and-photo analysis of the overall scene by day, and night.  The key point is that at night, this section of the shopping center in question is extremely dark, as there are no lights anywhere in the vicinity:

Overall Scene by jonsutz

(2) Close-Up Of Scene

The document below focuses on the hole by day and night, demonstrating that it would have been impossible for a person standing on the sidewalk to see or avoid stepping into it:

Closeup of Scene by jonsutz

(3) How The Accident Happened

The document below shows how the plaintiff and his witnesses allege the accident occurred:

How the Accident Happened by jonsutz



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