Of course, many times, I get an interesting case. An elderly woman was referred to me by another attorney.
She lives in a condominium in Suffolk County. Whenever the weather was cold, icicles would form at the juncture of the roof. One day, as she exited her home, a large icicle fell, hit her, causing her to fall and break her hip.
A tough one, yes? A challenge!
I had to put the case into litigation as the insurance company was not interested in settling with us.
I hired a roofing expert to educate me more and to give me an opinion. He told me that the roof was pitched in such a way as to create the forming of icicles (an important element of proof and notice), and that they could be remedied by placing an inexpensive coil on the roof, running electricity through it which would melt any ice. Surprisingly, some of the roofs had these coils.
I deposed the president of the condo board, who testified that they were aware of this issue but did nothing about it. I asked about the coils on the roofs that we observed and found that, remarkably, all those roofs belonged to members of the condo board!
The insurance company requested mediation, which is usually a nice way to resolve issues and settle a case. I brought my roofing expert to testify. I also always prepare an extensive brief for any mediation or arbitration, which I submit in advance to sensitize the mediator to my arguments.
After a discussion of my brief, including the damning testimony of the board president and my expert, the case settled for a significant six figure sum.
The attorney who referred the case never thought the woman would get any money!