Jury Finds Defective Condition, Awards No Damages:
In this personal injury/premises liability action, plaintiff claimed to have been thrown from his bicycle after riding over a one-inch deep pothole in defendant-supermarket’s parking lot, allegedly as a result of defendant’s failure to correct a defect in the parking lot. Plaintiff suffered a fractured ankle, requiring surgical open reduction. Litigating for defendant, Bruce Torino received a jury verdict that assigned 84% fault to the plaintiff and 16% fault to the defendant. Based on inconsistencies in the plaintiff’s medical records, it was argued that plaintiff actually fell in the street due to icy conditions entirely unrelated to the condition alleged to have existed in the supermarket parking lot. During cross-examination, Attorney Torino exploited weaknesses in the expert testimony offered by plaintiff’s engineer by introducing photographic and video evidence that a mountain bike should have easily passed over the one-inch deep divot, and eliciting the expert’s concession that no bicycle had been used in his testing of the condition. Plaintiff’s motion for a new trial was summarily denied.