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Settlement Awarded to Woman Injured in Fall Caused by Negligence

Case Type: General Negligence

Settlement: $100,000

Plaintiff: Mrs. Marcia Strobel and Dr. Stephen Strobel
Defendant: Bradley Willcock and Black Star Farms, LLC
Case Number: 16-9846-NO
Judge: Hon. Thomas G. Power
Location: Leelanau County Circuit Court
Date of Settlement: August 11, 2017

Facts of the Case

On June 11, 2016, Mrs. Marcia Strobel and her husband, Dr. Stephen Strobel, were socializing with guests at their son's wedding reception, which was being held at Black Star Farm's event venue. Bradley Willcock was waiting tables at the event as an employee of Black Star Farms, when he negligently ran into Mrs. Strobel. The force of Bradley Willcock's negligent collision into Mrs. Strobel was so great that it threw Mrs. Strobel to the ground, causing her severe and on-going injuries to her right lower extremity.

The Strobels brought claims of Innkeeper's Liability, General Negligence, and Loss of Consortium against Black Star Farms and Bradley Willcock. The Farm Bureau General Insurance Company of Michigan paid the $100,000 settlement.

Types of Injuries and Harm Suffered

  • Microtrabecular fracturing of the right tibial plateau
  • Tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) at the genu and femoral attachment
  • Fissuring of the lateral patellar facet near the patellar apex
  • Suspected meniscal tears evidenced by MRI imaging studies demonstrating increased proton-density signal within the medical meniscus and lateral meniscus

Other Types of Damages

  • Permanent scarring to the right lower extremity from surgical portals
  • Past, present and future medical expenses
  • Loss of consortium

Legal Issues in the Case

  • The only known independent eyewitness to the incident did not support Mrs. and Dr. Strobel's recitation of the facts of the incident. Oppositely, the independent eyewitness supported the Defense's version of the facts and did not believe that the Defendants did anything to cause or contribute to the incident occurring.
  • Stark socioeconomic differences between the non-resident Plaintiffs and the potential jury pool, coupled with well-known and well-liked Defendants who were local to the jurisdiction.
  • Financially conservative jurisdiction

What We Did to Win the Settlement

We took extensive discovery depositions of not only the named Defendants but also the employees of Black Star Farms having knowledge of this incident, in order to demonstrate Defendant's obvious negligence. We then facilitated this case with a local and experienced facilitator in Leelanau County, and later settled it directly with Defense counsel for their best and final offer prior to trial.

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$100,000: Michigan Negligence