Personal Injury, Second-Degree Burns, Hair Loss
Injuries: Personal Injury, Second-Degree Burns, Hair Loss
Facts and Claim of Liability:
On February 17, 2002, infant plaintiffs were born at Jacobi Medical Center.
About three months later, infant plaintiffs and their family moved into the subject premises in the Bronx. Plaintiff mother recalls that shortly after they moved in, she noticed that the kitchen floor was not level, and that this caused the stove to “slope forward,” which in turn would cause any items on top of the stove to slide off. She also noticed that the stove appeared to be missing a leg on the front left side. Plaintiff mother recalls that shortly after the family moved in, a pot of cold water that had been sitting on top of the stove slid forward and fell onto the ground. Plaintiff mother, concerned about what could have happened had the pot been filled with hot water, complained to the landlord about the kitchen floor. However, no repairs were ever made. Plaintiff mother ultimately stuck a VHS tape under the front left corner of the stove in order to try to stabilize it.
On February 14, 2004, plaintiff mother had left the subject premises and gone to the grocery store. Plaintiff father had stayed behind at the apartment to watch the children, including infant plaintiffs. Plaintiff mother was still at the grocery store when she received a call from her older daughter, who told her that there had been an accident at the apartment. Plaintiff mother rushed home, and was told by plaintiff father that a pot of boiling oil that had been on the stove had tipped over onto infant plaintiffs. Plaintiff mother called for an ambulance, and within 30 minutes Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived and transported infant plaintiffs to Jacobi Medical Center.
Both infant plaintiffs sustained severe burn injuries; however, one of them suffered superficial and deep second-degree burns on her face, forehead and scalp, as well as permanent hair loss and absence of hair in the anterior scalp. The other infant plaintiff suffered a second-degree burn on the left posterior scapula and lower neck.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Bronx County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant company was negligent in the ownership, operation, management, maintenance, and repair of the subject premises by allowing the stove in the apartment to continue to remain unfixed, and by allowing the kitchen floor to remain uneven, both of which caused the stove to slope forward and ultimately resulted in a pot of hot oil falling onto infant plaintiffs. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald ultimately settled with defendant for a total of $750,000.