One would think that a doctor’s office – of all places – would have plenty of handicap-accessible parking spaces, or at least what the Americans with Disabilities Act requires. Unfortunately for Mr. Archer*, that was not the case at all. Mr. Archer was visiting a new doctor on September 23, 2019. As his wife pulled into the parking lot, they could not find any handicap-accessible parking spaces. Mrs. Archer stopped the car and let her husband out while she searched for a spot. Unfortunately, not only were there no handicap-accessible parking spaces, but there was no handicap-accessible ramp or any other safe way for him to get into the doctor’s office.
Mr. Archer used his cane to steady himself as he walked up onto the sidewalk. Unfortunately, due to the dangerous condition of the parking lot and sidewalk, he tripped and fell forward, striking his head on a brick wall and his knee on the sidewalk.
When he made it into the doctor’s office, the physician, Dr. Smith*, told Mr. Archer to go home and sleep off his injuries. Mr. and Mrs. Archer both knew the injuries were serious and called 911. The rescue team took him to Memorial Hospital and Mr. Archer was immediately admitted. He developed a brain bleed and a significant wound to his left knee, which required two months in a physical therapy facility.
“Mr. Archer is exactly the person that the Americans with Disabilities Act is supposed to help. Mr. Archer is still active, but he just needs some assistance when walking from a parking lot into a building,” said Coker LawShareholder Matthew Posgay, . “Clearly, this physician, who is also the property owner, doesn’t prioritize or even recognize people like Mr. Archer.”
Posgay, with the assistance of co-counsel Ed Radloff, quickly determined that the parking lot was dangerous and did not provide any handicap-accessible parking spaces or entrances to the building. Despite repeated requests to inspect the parking lot, the insurance company for Dr. Smith refused to allow an inspection. Posgay and the Coker Law legal team filed a lawsuit which led to an inspection of the parking lot.
An expert engineer confirmed the parking lot was not only dangerous, but it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act – both the 1991 and 2010 versions. But even more egregious was learning that the property owner spent money to put up tow-away signs on every single parking space, repaved and re-striped the parking lot to add additional spaces, and yet never had a single legally acceptable, handicapped-accessible parking space, nor any signage.
The legal team at Coker Law attempted to resolve the case amicably before trial, but the insurance company refused. So, Posgay and the team began preparing for trial to obtain full justice and compensation for Mr. Archer. The case took an abrupt turn during the deposition of Dr. Smith, the physician who told his new patient to go home and sleep off his serious injuries. He admitted that he didn’t care how Mr. Archer felt. With the trial quickly approaching, the insurance company realized their client would not make a good witness, and requested a mediation. The insurance company’s claim representative recognized the significant injuries sustained by Mr. Archer and the clear liability of Dr. Smith, and an amicable resolution of the case was reached for $650,000.00.
“Although it is unfortunate that the defendant failed and refused to have a legally compliant parking lot,” added Posgay, “I’m thankful Mr. Archer allowed me and the entire Coker Law team to fight for justice for him.”
If You’re the Victim of a Slip-and-Fall or Negligence, What Should You Do?
Coker Law attorneys can help you recover financial compensation for the full amount of your losses, including medical and rehabilitation expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages or income. If you have been injured in an incident, contact our office to discuss your injuries and we will evaluate whether you have a case, and which type of claim would be appropriate to make on your behalf. To speak with a Coker Law attorney, or for more information, call (904) 356-6071. You can also click here to schedule a free consultation.
Case Title: Archer v. Dr. Smith (names changed to protect the identity of the parties)*
Date of Settlement: 10/15/21
Amount of Settlement: $650,000