Ronald J. Resmini Law Firm Wins $1.3 million Case In Providence, R.I. Courts
Providence lawyer , Ronald J. Resmini, (Call The Firm That Wrote The Book On Personal Injury In R.I.) knew he was up against significant challenges when he agreed to represent Fatima Delacruz in her slip-and-fall suit against Rhode Island Hospital (R.I. Superior Court docket #PC084977).
For starters, Delacruz’s case had failed before an arbitrator, after which her lawyer of six years declined to represent her further. But there was more. There had been difficulty contacting a key witness, and Resmini knew that arguing lost capacity of earnings would be objected to by defense counsel because Delacruz had stated earlier that she had no “lost wage” claim.
Resmini took the case anyway, alleging theories of mode of operation, breach of contract and common law negligence. On June 7, a Superior Court jury found that Delacruz was entitled to medical expenses, lost capacity for earnings, and pain and suffering damages. It also awarded her youngest son, Dano Delacruz, loss of consortium damages, for a total verdict of $678,519. With interest, the award comes in at $1.3 million.
At the end of the day, Resmini says, the jury found his client’s testimony credible when weighed against the word of a hospital employee. The worker allegedly had told Delacruz — who slipped exiting an elevator in an area where she had been just minutes earlier without incident — that he observed a wet, freshly washed floor but saw no warnings posted until later; he later backtracked and said he could not remember.
Though pleased with the verdict, Resmini downplays its size. “Is it a high dollar value? Not really,” he says, noting that his client is 45 years old and has a long-term injury. “That dollar amount is very conservative for the injury she sustained.”
According to Attorney Resmini, a highly experienced Rhode Island personal injury lawyer, the “biggest challenge is the jury as it is always applying the doctrine of common negligence law”, and how am I going to approach showing the jury the hospital had constructive or actual knowledge of a defect and didn’t do the things they should have to secure it? My argument was if they are washing the floors outside of an elevator, they should have put the notice in the elevator. You have to put the sign where someone has an option to exercise good judgment. We asked the jury to be fair and tell them to apply the law. It is not an easy task beyond a reasonable doubt, but telling them and letting them adopt and accept it is not the same. In reality, the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, not for preponderance of the evidence. If you don’t establish that, you’re not going to win. This time we were successful.