Florida Personal Injury Law Firm Achieves One of the Largest Jury Verdicts in St. Lucie County in a case of 'Profits before Safety'

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South Florida injury law firm wins $1 million verdict for Saint Lucie county resident.

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We will not tolerate absentee landlords who fail to maintain their property. Our client is a human being, and deserves a safe tenancy whether she stays in a $750/night hotel room or a $750/mo apartment.

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In a Saint Lucie County court this week, a six-person jury delivered a verdict awarding more than $1 million to a 32-year-old Fort Pierce resident, one of the largest jury verdicts for Saint Lucie county in such a case. The Steinger, Iscoe & Greene client’s landlord neglected to respond to the tenant’s concern for the safety of the housing facility. Represented by Steinger, Iscoe & Greene Florida personal injury attorneys Michael A. Feiner and Alfred “Jib” Bell, the client, Margo Nickerson was present in court on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 to hear the favorable verdict in excess of $1 million in her slip-and-fall case. (St. Lucie County, 19th Judicial Circuit, Case # 56 2008 CA 005372)

The Steinger, Iscoe & Greene client, a 32-year-old, African-American female, rented an apartment in a low-income area of Fort Pierce. When she moved into her apartment in August 2007, Nickerson noticed the handrails leading up to her apartment were loose, unsafe and in disrepair. Nickerson mentioned this condition to the property manager who in turn told her the handrails would be fixed. Unbeknownst to Nickerson, the majority of the handrails on the property posed possible danger to tenants and were in need of repair; the property manager had known about the problem for three years, warning the property owner that someone would be hurt if the handrails were not fixed. Unfortunately, the property manager did not have permission from the property owner to fix the handrails, as the owner had "other priorities," such as getting the property "rent ready" so they could collect additional rent. The property manager testified that she was not to fix the handrails until "somebody complained about them," but when Nickerson complained the railings were still not repaired.

In September 2007 Nickerson was exiting her apartment, about to descend the four steps on her porch, when she slipped on her landing and grabbed for the broken handrail out of desperation. Unfortunately, the handrail did little to stop her fall as it gave way, and she tumbled down four steps, injuring her neck and low back. Since the fall, Nickerson has undergone three surgeries including a fusion in her neck and back surgery to repair a resultant nerve condition. Her past medical expenses were $198,000. Thanks to the legal prowess and tireless efforts of Steinger, Iscoe & Greene South Florida injury lawyers Feiner and Bell, the jury awarded Nickerson $1,004,075.

In sum, the landlord put ‘profits before safety’ and failed to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. Regarding the case, Michael A. Feiner, Esquire comments, "We will not tolerate absentee landlords who fail to maintain their property. Our client is a human being, and deserves a safe tenancy whether she stays in a $750/night hotel room or a $750/mo apartment."

About Steinger, Iscoe & Greene,
Founded in 1997, Steinger, Iscoe & Greene is one of the leading plaintiffs' litigation law firms in North America. A legal team of 26 attorneys and 100 legal staff, Steinger, Iscoe & Greene has represented more than 16,000 injury victims to date, with offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Port St Lucie. The firm provides legal representation to Florida accident and injury victims specializing in auto, motorcycle, and truck accidents, defective products, premises liability, workers' compensation, wrongful death and catastrophic injuries. For more information, visit http://www.InjuryLawyers.com

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H. Shaw Heydt

Michael Feiner