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Putting Off Fixing a Hole in Your Driveway or Business Parking Lot Can Have Devasting Consequences

December 22, 2009

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David M. Paris represented our client who was 24 weeks pregnant with twins. She and her 3 year old son went to have dinner at a local restaurant. They parked their car in the parking lot and walked into the restaurant. Unfortunately, the hole in which she fell on her way out of the restaurant was hidden by a car that had stopped to let out a customer. After eating their dinner, our client left the restaurant. As they walked through the door, a car was stopped in front of their path waiting for another vehicle in a parking space to back out. This car also blocked her view of the hole.  While her attention was focused to her right at the approaching car that had pulled out of the parking space, she stepped into and fell into a 1 foot x 3 foot hole. The hole had been In that condition for a long time and the restaurant manager testified that he was aware of it but was "keeping an eye on it". A simple $100 asphalt repair or a barricade would have prevented her fall.

Our client fell forward directly onto her abdomen. Paramedics arrived and she ultimately went to a Level 1 hospital emergency room where she was found to be 3.5cm dilated with her membranes "hour-glassing" through her cervix. The danger associated with "hour-glassing membranes" is bacterial contamination from the normal vaginal flora. Despite antibiotics and steroids, Twin A developed chorioamnionitis, which required her physicians to perform an emergency C-section. Twin A died at birth as a result of the infection. Twin B was septic, but survived after spending approximately 9 months at the hospital.

Our medical experts explained that the impact to our client's abdomen at the time of her fall was a cause of her accelerated cervical dilation, hour-glassing of her membranes and development of the chorioamnionitis which was responsible for Twin A's death and Twin B's premature delivery.

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