Hip Fracture Settlements and Verdicts

hip-lawsuitsOur lawyers have handled many lawsuits where the injury is a fractured hip. Everyone understands this is a serious injury but most people do not realize just how severe or frequent these injuries can be. 

Approximately 250,000 hip fractures occur annually in the United States and they are associated with a substantial mortality rate. Approximately 5% of all fracture patients die during initial hospitalization, and the mortality rate in the first year after hip fracture is between 20 to 58%. Most studies are on the lower end of the range but the numbers are still mind-boggling.

There are many traumatic ways people suffer these injuries. In our practice, we see them in three types of cases: nursing home, motor vehicle accidents, and slip and fall cases. Among those three categories, the most common is nursing home neglect and abuse cases. Certainly, the daunting hip fracture fatality rate is largely borne by the senior population, particularly those with osteoporosis.

Hip Verdicts & Settlements

Below is a list of setlements and verdicts in hip fracture cases.

  • 2016, Colorado:$1,200,000 Verdict. A woman is a customer in defendant's furniture warehouse/showroom when she falls down due to an unmarked change in the floor elevation. As a result, she fractures her hip with internal bleeding. This injury requires a total hip arthroplasty surgery. She alleges the defendant's negligence in failing to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition caused her to fall and resulted in her injuries. The defendant denies any negligence. A jury awards the woman $1,200,000 which is reduced to $804,000 after they hold the woman 33% liable for her own injuries. After the trial, the court granted a defense motion for new trial, due to the plaintiff's late production of discovery during the trial.
  • 2016, Washington: $350,000 Settlement. An 81-year-old woman is shopping in a grocery store. She receives a cup of coffee from a station that regularly hands out food samples and coffee in the back of the store. While she is receiving her free coffee, a wine stocker places a box of wine on the floor behind her. When the woman turns around to take a step, she trips over the wine and spills her coffee. She lands on her hip. She sustains a right hip fracture and receives a partial hip replacement, requiring thirty days of in-patient therapy. Within two years, she needs a total hip replacement. The defendants argue that the woman should have seen the box of wine and that she knew the employee was restocking the wine. The parties settle the case for $350,000.
  • 2016, Pennsylvania:$99,745 Verdict. A man is walking his dog. He comes across defendant pet sitter, who is walking a 135 pound dog. The dog escapes from his leash, and knocks plaintiff to the ground. Plaintiff fractures his hip as a result. He files a claim against the dog walker alleging that she was negligent in failing to warn him of the dog's vicious propensities and by failing to properly leash the dog. The defendant denies negligence and argues that the plaintiff's dog was the aggressor toward her dog. A jury finds that defendant was negligent and awards the plaintiff $110,475.
  • 2015, Washington: $465,000 Settlement. A 66-year old woman is a customer at defendant's store. As she is entering the store she trips on a folded floor mat. She falls and fractures her hip. The fracture requires surgery. After surgery, the woman develops a post-op hematoma which also requires surgery. The parties settled for $465,000.
  • 2015, New York: $450,000 Settlement. Plaintiff is in defendant store near a clothing rack. The bottom of the rack is covered by clothing. As she is looking at the clothes, her foot becomes stuck between the floor and bottom base of the clothing rack. As she begins to lose balance, she grabs onto the rack. However, the wheels are unlocked, so the rack moves and the woman falls. She sustains a fractured hip requiring surgery in addition to aggravation of a prior knee condition. The defendant argues that the hip fracture resolved, but settled the case prior to trial for $450,000.
  • 2015, New Jersey: $400,000 Settlement. A woman in her 50's is riding her bicycle in an area involving a raised boardwalk plank when she falls and fractures her hip due to the bike striking the defect. Due to the incident, she suffers a hip fracture requiring surgery and subsequently she develops traumatic arthritis. The city denied that any notice needed to be given about the condition. The parties settled for $400,000.
  • 2015, Colorado:$275,000 Verdict. A 65-year-old female is walking outside her townhome complex residence, owned by defendant, when she slips and falls on an icy sidewalk. Due to the fall, she endures a permanent injury including a right fractured hip and pelvis that requires a total hip replacement surgery. She argues the defendant knew the melting snow freezes on the sidewalk, since the woman had reported two previous falls due to the same conditions. Defendant denies this knowledge, and argues that the plaintiff's own negligence caused her fall. A jury found that the woman's injuries were due to defendant's negligence and awarded the woman $275,000.
  • 2015, Florida:$225,000 Verdict. An adult woman is at defendant's clubhouse. While at the clubhouse, she falls when she steps on an unsecured meter box cover, and fractures her hip. She alleges the defendant knew of the unsecured cover, or that he should have, but failed to correct the condition. The defendant denied liability, but a jury returns a verdict in favor of the plaintiff for $225,000.
  • 2015, Oregon:$66,700 Verdict. Plaintiff goes over to defendant's house. She knocks on the door but no one answers, so she walks through the garden on the side of the house. She steps onto a submerged area, leading to the basement, when she falls over a wall onto a sidewalk below. As a result, she fractures her hip, sacrum, and wrist. She argues that defendant should have had a handrail and marked the area since he knew of the hazard. Defendant claims that plaintiff should have watched where she was walking. A jury awarded the woman $66,700, but also found that she was 50% negligent for her injuries. Therefore, the award was reduced to $33,350.
  • 2014, Florida:$1,000,000 Verdict. An 83-year-old woman is residing at defendant nursing home for short-term rehabilitation services after undergoing surgery to repair her right hip. Five days after she is admitted, she falls and re-fractures her hip. The facility does not x-ray it, but instead has the woman continue physical therapy for four weeks. Her son claims that the facilities failure to recognize the fractures and the subsequent physical therapy caused irreparable damage to the woman's hip. A jury awarded the woman $250,000 for past pain and suffering and $750,000 for future pain and suffering.
  • 2014, New Jersey:$500,000 Settlement. A woman in her 20's is a passenger in defendant's car when defendant loses control of the car and drives into a tree. As a result, the woman suffers a discolored forehead scar and a fractured hip. Defendant driver claims he was unfamiliar with the road and following the woman's directions when he turned into a tree. The case settled for $500,000 prior to trial.
  • 2014, New York:$315,000 Settlement. A fifty-year-old woman resides at a property leased by defendant landlord when she falls over a large crack in the sidewalk. She fractures her hip as a result. She claims that the condition had been present for an extended period of time and that defendant should have been aware of it. The defendant argued that the woman was negligent in failing to observe the condition. The case settled before trial started for $315,000.
  • 2014, Indiana:$175,000 Verdict. A 70-year-old woman is a patient receiving physical therapy services from defendant. While at her appointment one day, she slips on water on a tile floor around a physical therapy pool. She fractures her hip as a result. She claims that the defendant was negligent in failing to have handrails available where persons entered and exited the pool and in allowing a slippery condition to remain on the floor where patients walk. Defendant denied liability and argued contributory negligence since the woman did not ask someone to assist her. A jury found that each party was 50% liable. They awarded the plaintiff $175,000, which was reduced to $87,500.
  • 2014, Washington:$160,000 Settlement. A 62-year-old man is riding his bicycle to defendant's storage facility. He arrives at the facility where he observes snow and ice through the entire area of storage units. He gets off his bike and walks to the storage unit. As he is leaving the facility, his feet slip out from under him on the ice. The man lands directly on his left hip and fractures it. The fracture requires hip replacement surgery. He argues that defendant was negligent in failing to maintain the area in a safe condition. The parties settle for $160,000.
  • 2014, Florida:$85,000 Verdict. A woman residing at defendant condominiums falls on the sidewalk when a rock becomes lodged between her sandal and her foot. She fractures her hip due to the impact. She files a claim against the condominiums association, alleging that they failed to keep the walkway free of rocks and debris, creating the dangerous condition. Defendant claimed the woman knew the rocks was there. A jury found that the plaintiff was 10% liable for her own injuries, and awarded her $85,000. This was reduced per the negligence apportionment done by the jury.
  • 2014, Oregon:$50,000 Settlement. A 50-year-old man is a professional truck driver. He is at defendant's loading dock when he parks his truck and exits his vehicle. He trips on a wheel clock that was previously left in the parking lane and fractures his hip. He has emergency surgery with hardware done and eventually needs a total hip replacement. The defendant argued contributory negligence, and the parties settled for $50,000.
  • 2013, Illinois:$842,801 Verdict. Plaintiff resides at defendant nursing home and is a fall risk. She falls four times. The fifth time she falls, she fractures her right hip, pelvis, and arm. Surgery is required for the hip fracture, and the woman is immobile due to the injuries and subsequent pressure sores she develops. She files a claim against the nursing facility alleging negligence in assessing her fall risk and in failing to provide assistance to prevent future calls. At trial, a jury awards the woman $842,801.
  • 2013, California:$573,026 Verdict. Plaintiff is a resident at defendant residential care facility for the elderly. While residing there, she suffers multiple falls. Defendants fail to develop any intervention plan and allow the woman to suffer repetitive falls. The woman's last fall results in a fractured hip, and she alleges elder abuse. A jury holds the defendant 70% liable for plaintiff's damages. Prior to trial, the case settles for $650,000.
  • 2013, Louisiana:$190,000 Verdict. An adult male is invited onto defendant's property He steps on the cover of a water meter, owned by co-defendants. When he steps on it, the cover flips up, causing the plaintiff to fall into the water meter hole. He suffers a fractured hip requiring surgery to insert foreign hardware into his hip. A jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, awarding him $190,000 from the co-defendants. The award is later reduced to $161,500 due to the jury determination that the plaintiff was 15% liable for the accident himself.
  • 2013, Florida:$183,369.42 Verdict. A woman is shopping in the produce area of defendant supermarket when she trips on a stock float and falls. She fractures her hip as a result of the fall. She files a case against the store for negligently maintaining its premises. The defendant denied negligence. A jury finds the plaintiff to be 60% negligent and the defendant to be 40% negligent. They award the plaintiff $183,369.42, which is reduced to $72,947.77 after the fault apportionment.
  • 2013, California:$87,500 Settlement. Plaintiff is at defendant hospital when she is knocked to the floor by a laundry cart and fractures her hip. The defendant hospital denies liability but agrees to pay the woman $87,500 to settle her claim.
  • 2013, Michigan:$52,000 Settlement. Plaintiff is a tenant and rents a condominium from defendant. He is walking on the sidewalk of the premises one day when he slips and falls on ice that accumulated due to a defective drainage system. He fractures his pelvis and his hip as a result of the fall. He claims that the defendant was negligent in failing to properly maintain the sidewalk and in failing to warn of the condition. During case evaluation, a panel awards the plaintiff $52,000.
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