On June 23, 2014, Carrielee Strother-Ross, aged 34, slipped and fell on an interior stairway of a Burger King restaurant located in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens. She injured her knee. Five days later, Ms. Strother-Ross suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism.
Our client, Michael Ross, Ms. Strother-Ross’ surviving partner, sued the restaurant’s operators, Burger King Corporation and Burger King 14041 and the premises owner, Powell Foods of 14041, LLC. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff, who served as Mr. Strother-Ross’ estate administrator, alleged that the defendants were negligent; their negligence included maintaining unsafe restaurant conditions that led to the initial fall and injury.
Counsel for the estate claimed that the restaurant’s interior stairway was in poor condition; tread noses on each step were worn to the point that they had dangerous downward slopes and were slippery. It was alleged that this condition should have been apparent to the restaurant’s owners and operators. A medical examiner for the decedent determined that pulmonary embolism was the cause of Ms. Strother-Ross’ death, and submitted an opinion that the embolism had developed as a result of the fall she was initially injured by.
In the lawsuit, the estate sought wrongful-death damages, including the expenses associated with Strother-Ross’ funeral and burial. Damages for pain and suffering and damages for Ross’ children’s loss of parental guidance and support were also sought. The parties entered into a pretrial settlement hearing; with the estate’s attorneys’ help, the defendant’s primary insurance company agreed to pay $900,000 after mediation.