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Client injured after slipping on ice in parking lot by Nashville airport

In December 2022, our client’s flight was canceled due to bad weather conditions at the Nashville BNA airport. So, he took a shuttle back to the private parking lot where he had parked his car, and started walking to his vehicle. As he was walking, he slipped on a patch of ice that had accumulated. The “banana peel” fall caused him to hit the back of his head on the pavement. As he lay there stunned and in pain, he was shocked no employee of the parking lot came to his aid. Wobbly and in shock he picked himself up and realized he was hurting.

After his fall, he immediately went to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. VUMC performed a CT scan of his head and diagnosed him with a concussion. He also was experiencing pain in his right shoulder and having headaches. Our client, who is retired, was suffering from brain fog, headaches, and fatigue daily when he called us. He asked Weir & Kestner Injury Lawyers for a review of his injury rights.

Often, when a client slips on ice or snow it happens at a business or apartment complex. These cases fall under premises liability law. Premises liability cases have their own set of rules formed by many years of case law. In addition to the normal premises liability case analysis, a slip and fall because of ice or snow have even more factors to consider. Tennessee courts utilize a five-factor test to determine whether a property owner’s efforts to remove snow and ice were reasonable, and these factors are: (1) the length of time the accumulation has been present, (2) the amount of the accumulation, (3) whether the accumulation could be, as a practical matter, removed, (4) the cost of removal, and (5) the foreseeability of injury.

In our client’s case, inclement weather had been forecasted for days before the fall. The property owner had taken no preventative measures, nor attempted to remove or address the accumulated snow and ice. Yet was still selling parking spaces to customers knowingly putting them in harm’s way. Additionally, the ice was not visible making the ice a latent dangerous condition. Now, because of the negligence of the property owner, our client was unable to perform his daily life activities for months, and when he tried he was constantly reminded of his limitations and pain.

Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., had denied our client’s claim prior to our involvement. Sedgwick routinely denies premises liability claims even when they are valid. We pursued a claim and maximized our client’s rights. We argued that he was entitled to economic and noneconomic damages under Tennessee premises liability law. After preparing to file a lawsuit in Davidson County Circuit Court, Sedgwick agreed to negotiate. We were able to win a fair and equitable award for our client without filing the lawsuit, and he is back to enjoying his retirement stress-free.


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