The NY Post reports that Manhattan Court Justice Alexander Tisch stated that counsel for the plaintiff in a May 2017 compliance conference failed to appear in court. Tisch suggested that further absences could lead to a dismissal of the $5 million slip-and-fall case brought by Dominique Sharpton against the city. Previously, Sharpton was said to have already missed several scheduled depositions in the matter. The 30-year-old, who claims to have suffered a permanent ankle injury, is the daughter of Al Sharpton and is employed by his National Action Network. She is represented by the firm of Elefterakis, Elefterakis & Panek. John Elefterakis issued a statement explaining that the absent partner handling the case had a sudden family emergency on the date of the court appearance.
In documentation obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Sharpton says that she was crossing the street when her foot became lodged in a pothole, causing her to fall and suffer the injury. She claims to have been wearing flat boots at the time and heard a “snap”, suggesting some type of damage to the foot. City attorney Michelle Fox asked Sharpton about her activity the night following the accident. Sharpton responded saying that she attended a gospel concert and sought medical attention for her ankle afterward. Sharpton’s social media accounts have shown her to be quite active despite the injury. She asserts that she is now unable to do many physical activities that she otherwise could.
Sharpton said that the hospital concluded there were no broken bones in the foot or ankle. Since the incident, she has undergone physical therapy, used a special walking boot and crutches, and also developed an infection in the ankle. She did have surgery for ligament damage; however, she had continued to travel the country and displayed photos that show she was hiking in Bali. In response to questions about her hiking trip, she explained that she needed to take a lot of breaks and was helped by others at times.
The evidence of her physical activity documented in social media led the attorneys for New York City to file an order that she not delete photos from her Instagram account. The move is in efforts to ensure the preservation of relevant evidence that the defense seems likely to produce in court. Sharpton claims that she will not fully recover from the sprained ankle in justifying her $5 million claim. In addition, her claim states that she has endured significant pain and mental anguish since the accident. John Elefterakis further explained that Sharpton has been honest in describing her physical status and limitations throughout the length of the proceedings. New York is one of a few states that does not place caps or limits on awards for damages in personal injury cases.