When Allison Friedman went shopping with friends in January of 2015 she probably was not expecting the sky to quite literally start falling. The 27 year old special education teacher had stopped at the popular clothing store, Lululemon. The shop was located at 1527 E. Walnut Street in the Center City district in Philadelphia. Around 3:25 pm bricks from the building next door, at 1529 E. Walnut Street, crashed through the ceiling of the Lululemon and injured Friedman and her two friends. The bricks came from a parapet wall that may have collapsed due to water infiltration and freezing and thawing, according to Licenses and Inspection officials.
In January of 2016, Friedman filed a negligence lawsuit against Walnut Street Associates, L.P. and Pearl Properties Commercial Management, LLC. Because of the accident Friedman has had to undergo shoulder surgery and, at the one year of the anniversary of the accident, major spinal surgery. Friedman did not name Lululemon in her lawsuit. The store was demolished after the accident.
Negligence is a tort, or civil wrong. In general, when a plaintiff is seeking to prove that a defendant was negligent - as Friedman wants to prove in her case against Walnut Street Associates and Pearl Properties Commercial Management - the plaintiff must prove the four elements of negligence: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
In Pennsylvania, in order to prove negligence a plaintiff must show:
"(1) a duty or obligation recognized by the law, requiring the actor to conform to a certain standard of conduct for the protection of others against unreasonable risks;
(2) a failure to conform to the standard required;
(3) a causal connection between the conduct and the resulting injury; and
(4) actual loss or damage resulting in harm to the interests of another."
Damages can be either punitive or compensatory. Compensatory damages are exactly what they sound like, damages to compensate the plaintiff for injuries and losses. Compensatory damages include both past and future damages. Plaintiffs can recover damages for things like past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, and past and future pain and suffering. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant rather than compensate the plaintiff and can be awarded in cases where the defendant's behavior is particularly egregious.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to another's neglect of their property, you may be able to recover compensation. At Gilman & Bedigian our attorneys have years of experience handling personal injury claims. If you believe you may have a case, please do not hesitate to contact our office today for a free consultation.