In August 2007, a woman came to Sauter Sullivan attorney Christopher Geldmacher after she suffered a personal injury when she slipped and fell in a fast food restaurant parking lot. It had started raining outside while the woman was in the restaurant, and, when she exited building, she was forced to walk along a very steep area of the parking lot to get to her car. Because of the rain and the slope of the hill, the woman’s foot slipped and she fell directly onto her knee. Doctors confirmed that she suffered a torn meniscus in her knee. The knee injury required surgery, and although she got the surgery she needed, her knee was never the same.
Mr. Geldmacher, a personal injury attorney and partner at Sauter Sullivan, took her case and conducted an investigation of the restaurant’s parking lot. At first glance, the portion of the parking lot where the woman fell appeared to have a slope which was steeper than County Code allowed. Mr. Geldmacher ordered a survey of the property and the parking lot. The survey crew hired by Mr. Geldmacher found that the slope of the portion of the parking lot where the client fell was 2.5 times the maximum grade allowed by the County Code. Once this was confirmed, the owner of the restaurant had no choice but to acknowledge the woman’s claim. Mr. Geldmacher negotiated a settlement of $60,000 for his client!