Articles Posted in Slip and Fall

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This story is not about the 5 million dollar settlement paid in a wrongful death lawsuit. This story is about the truth that was brought to light, surrounding the balcony fall and tragic death of 19 year old Jack Lipp.

Former Libertyville High School basketball star Jack Lipp, a freshman at the University of Missouri in 2014, died at University Hospital after being critically injured, in a fall from a balcony during a party, on December 14th 2014. Jack, the only son of John and Stephanie Lipp, later died on Christmas Day.

Jack Lipp will always be remembered by his friends and family for his kind heart, gentle nature and for his love of family, friends, his sense of humor and his love of life. He led his life as a shining example of how to be a good person everyday. Today, the story that surrounds Jack’s tragic death, and what was learned through the wrongful death lawsuit his parents brought against the property manager and developer, teaches all of us that the precious life of our students, should be protected no matter what the cost.

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Columbia Missouri-

According to the Columbia Police Department and the City of Columbia website,  at approximately 8:05 a.m. on Monday March 07, David C. Birkenbach, 66, was struck by a city bus while he was using a crosswalk, on Stadium Boulevard at Monk Drive.

The details of those reports state that Mr. Birkenbach of Columbia, was walking across Stadium Boulevard using the crosswalk, legally. A city bus driven by Hamis Mukiwa, 22, attempted to turn left from Champions Drive onto Stadium. According to Columbia Police Department spokesperson Bryana Larimer, ” the bus had a yellow left-turn signal, indicating it could complete the turn after yielding to traffic and pedestrians, and Birkenbach was legally within the crosswalk.” Larimer also said, “Mukiwa did not yield to Birkenbach while completing the turn, which led to the fatal crash.” Larimer also stated that alcohol and drugs were not a factor in the crash.

081911 ambulance.jpgA poorly repaired balcony railing on a rental house, lands an Illinois man in the hospital.

Jack Lipp, 19, of Illinois, remains in critical condition as of Tuesday afternoon at the University Hospital, after falling from a balcony early Saturday morning December 13th.

Lipp, an MU student, was at a party on South Fourth Street, when he fell from a second story balcony that had a broken railing, to the gravel driveway below.

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The A.W. Smith Law Firm hopes to improve the lives of United States Veterans through $250 donation to Welcome Home Inc.

The A.W. Smith Law Firm presented a $250 check to Welcome Home Inc., a nonprofit community based program in Columbia, Missouri. Welcome Home‘s mission is to enable homeless veterans to return to society as productive, self supporting citizens. Welcome Home‘s veteran only transitional living program facilitates recovery through social responsibility, personal engagement, and individualized programming based upon the needs and desires of the veteran.

The A.W. Smith Law Firm, a Columbia, Missouri personal injury law firm, is making a dedicated effort to fulfill its social responsibility by addressing the needs of the community and those in surrounding areas. The A.W. Smith Law Firm grants charitable contributions to organizations in the Mid-Missouri area that have dedicated themselves to promoting the welfare of their communities and the people in them. All of this is made possible through the hard work and generosity of The A.W. Smith Law Firm staff, in particular its president, Aaron W. Smith (also known as “A.W.”).

A.W. Smith and The A.W. Smith Law firm are proud to contribute to an organization like Welcome Home Inc. who is fighting for the survival and well being of those who have fought to defend the freedom of United States citizens. The A.W. Smith Law Firm is grateful for the opportunity to give back to those who have sacrificed so much.

About The A.W. Smith Law Firm, P.C.:

The A.W. Smith Law Firm is a skilled and experienced personal injury firm located in Columbia, Missouri. The firm’s legal knowledge, lawyer strong work-ethic, and formidable trial advocacy and litigation techniques mean they are able to succeed in cases involving even the most complex claims and confusing facts, obtaining the recovery and compensation their clients need to begin rebuilding their lives. The A.W. Smith Law Firm is dedicated to helping accident victims all across the Midwest. For more information on The A.W. Smith Law Firm, visit their website: www.awsmithlaw.com

About Welcome Home Inc.:

Welcome Home Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides emergency food, shelter, transportation and clothing to all Veterans of the United States of America who reside in the Mid-Missouri area. Welcome Home Inc.’s mission is to enable homeless Veterans to return to society as productive, self supporting citizens. Welcome Home Inc. provides full wrap-around services for their clients that address three main long-term goals: residential stability, increased skill level and/or income, and greater self-determination of participants. For more information, to volunteer or to donate to Welcome Home Inc., visit their website: www.welcomehomelessveterans.org
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Aaron W. Smith hopes to make a permanent difference in the lives of neglected, abandoned or abused children through a $250 donation to Hope Chest For Kids, Inc.

Aaron Smith presented a $250 check to Hope Chest For Kids, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Clark, Missouri. Hope Chest For Kids’ goal is to make a permanent impact on the lives of children who are removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect by helping them to build a successful life with guidance, assistance and structure.

Hope Chest For Kids‘ mission is to provide children, youth and caregivers with basic needs such as food, clothing and assistance with transitional housing to foster children who have aged out of the foster system, at-risk children and single moms. In addition to helping the children and caregivers that are in need now, Hope Chest For Kids‘ goal is to develop alliances with and provide resources for children’s organizations to increase awareness and education of child abuse and neglect.

Aaron Smith, President of The A.W. Smith Law Firm, a Columbia, Missouri personal injury law firm, is making a dedicated effort to fulfill his social responsibility by addressing the needs of the community and those in surrounding areas. Aaron Smith grants charitable contributions to organizations in the Mid-Missouri area that have dedicated themselves to promoting the welfare of their communities and the people in them. All of this is made possible through the hard work and generosity of Aaron W. Smith (also known as “A.W.”).

A.W. Smith feels strongly about the mission being pursued by Hope Chest For Kids. Foster families can help to improve the lives of abused and neglected children but it takes an entire community to get involved to help them overcome the struggles they will not only face now, but for a lifetime. A.W. Smith is proud to contribute to an organization like Hope Chest For Kids who are making significant steps toward ending child abuse and neglect.

About The A.W. Smith Law Firm, P.C.:

The A.W. Smith Law Firm is a skilled and experienced personal injury firm located in Columbia, Missouri. The firm’s legal knowledge, lawyer strong work-ethic, and formidable trial advocacy and litigation techniques mean they are able to succeed in cases involving even the most complex claims and confusing facts, obtaining the recovery and compensation their clients need to begin rebuilding their lives. The A.W. Smith Law Firm is dedicated to helping accident victims all across the Midwest. For more information on The A.W. Smith Law Firm, visit their website: www.awsmithlaw.com

About Hope Chest For Kids, Inc.:

Hope Chest For Kids, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides needed goods and services to children who are removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect. These children are now in safe loving foster homes but that is just the start. Given the abuse and neglect these children have suffered they often have significant physical and emotional challenges. These children and their foster parents need your help. For more information on becoming a foster parent or to donate to Hope Chest For Kids, Inc., visit their website: www.hopechestforkids.com
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Aaron W. Smith is helping to ensure the health and livelihood of Boone County children by making a $250 donation to The Mid-Missouri Food Bank’s Buddy Pack Program.

Aaron Smith presented a $250 to The Mid-Missouri Food Bank to help fund their Buddy Pack Program in Boone County, Missouri. The Food Bank partners with elementary schools in the 32 counties it serves to provide Buddy Packs to school children. Buddy Packs are backpacks filled with kid-friendly, nutritious food for children to take home with them over the weekend and holiday breaks to supplement their meals when there is not enough to eat at home.

Around 55,000 students in the food bank’s service area qualify for free or reduced school meals. For many of these children, the breakfast and lunch they receive at school offer the only source of reliable nutrition; they are at risk of hunger over the weekends. The Buddy Pack Program aims to alleviate that risk.

Aaron Smith, President of The A.W. Smith Law Firm, a Columbia, Missouri personal injury law firm, is making a dedicated effort to fulfill his social responsibility by addressing the needs of the community and those in surrounding areas. Aaron Smith grants charitable contributions to organizations in the Mid-Missouri area that have dedicated themselves to promoting the welfare of their communities and the people in them. All of this is made possible through the hard work and generosity of Aaron W. Smith (also known as “A.W.”).

“I am ecstatic to be able to make this donation to the Food Bank,” stated A.W. Smith. “The Buddy Pack Program is crucial to the survival and nutritional needs of the children it serves. Without the help and support of the community, the Food Bank would be unable to fund programs such as this,” he said, “It is our responsibility as a community to rally around these children to ensure that one of their most basic needs is met.”

About The A.W. Smith Law Firm, P.C.:

The A.W. Smith Law Firm is a skilled and experienced personal injury firm located in Columbia, Missouri. The firm’s legal knowledge, lawyer strong work-ethic, and formidable trial advocacy and litigation techniques mean they are able to succeed in cases involving even the most complex claims and confusing facts, obtaining the recovery and compensation their clients need to begin rebuilding their lives. The A.W. Smith Law Firm is dedicated to helping accident victims all across the Midwest. For more information on The A.W. Smith Law Firm, visit their website: www.awsmithlaw.com

About The Buddy Pack Program:

The Food Bank partners with elementary schools in each of the 32 counties it serves to provide Buddy Packs to school children. Buddy Packs are backpacks filled with kid-friendly, nutritious food that students take home over the weekend or holiday periods to supplement their meals when there is not enough to eat at home. After the weekend, the kids bring their empty Buddy Pack back to school to be refilled by local volunteers. During the 2011-2012 school year, the Buddy Pack Program helped feed around 8,600 children each week, up from 6,500 in 2010-11. You can help by donating backpacks or money to purchase food for the program. For more information or to donate, please visit their website: sharefoodbringhope.org/buddy-packs/
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The A.W. Smith Law Firm is supporting Boone County Family Resources in their mission to provide resources to residents with developmental disabilities in Boone County.

The A.W. Smith Law Firm presented a $250 to Boone County Family Resources (BCFR), a nonprofit organization based in Columbia, Missouri. BCFR serves persons of all ages – from infants and toddlers to older adults who have developmental disabilities. Each person they serve is supported by a knowledgeable team that helps plan the support they need and make informed decisions about where to get it.

BCFR‘s mission is to use agency and other available resources to enable Boone County residents with developmental disabilities to progress toward normal living and to develop, as far as possible, their capacity, performance, and relationship with other persons.

The A.W. Smith Law Firm, a Columbia, Missouri personal injury law firm, is making a dedicated effort to fulfill its social responsibility by addressing the needs of the community and those in surrounding areas. The A.W. Smith Law Firm grants charitable contributions to organizations in the Mid-Missouri area that have dedicated themselves to promoting the welfare of their communities and the people in them. All of this is made possible through the hard work and generosity of The A.W. Smith Law Firm staff, in particular its president, Aaron W. Smith (also known as “A.W.”).

A.W. Smith and The A.W. Smith Law Firm graciously support BCFR in their efforts to serve and defend the well being of community members with developmental disabilities. They feel it is important for the community to get involved in helping to fund and perpetuate the cause that BCFR represents.

About The A.W. Smith Law Firm, P.C.:

The A.W. Smith Law Firm is a skilled and experienced personal injury firm located in Columbia, Missouri. The firm’s legal knowledge, lawyer strong work-ethic, and formidable trial advocacy and litigation techniques mean they are able to succeed in cases involving even the most complex claims and confusing facts, obtaining the recovery and compensation their clients need to begin rebuilding their lives. The A.W. Smith Law Firm is dedicated to helping accident victims all across the Midwest. For more information on The A.W. Smith Law Firm, visit their website: www.awsmithlaw.com

About Boone County Family Resources (BCFR):

BCFR is a nonprofit organization based in Columbia, Missouri whose mission is to effectively and efficiently use agency and other available resources to enable Boone County residents with developmental disabilities to progress toward normal living and to develop, as far as possible, their capacity, performance, and relationship with other persons. The people they serve present diverse needs for life, work and recreational support in their homes and in the community. For more information or to donate, please visit their website: www.bcfr.org
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In Park City Utah, Sarah Burke and professional skierwrongfully dies from serious injuries due to a training accident.

On January 10, 2012, Sarah Burke, age 29 and of Squamish, British Columbia was training in the Park City Mountain Eagle Resort where she was seriously injured after a skiing accident. Burke crashed on the same super pipe where snowboarder, Kevin Pearce, was seriously injured in 2009 and sustained traumatic brain injuries. Onlookers and friends reported that Burke had completed the attempted trick fairly well, yet she still fell onto her head, but her accident did not appear to be too severe. Moments later, Burke went into cardiac arrest while she was still on the ski slope.

Sarah Burke was resuscitated and airlifted to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where emergency physicians reported that she had been placed in an induced coma.

On January 11th, Burke underwent neurosurgery to repair a tear in her vertebral artery. According to a statement released by neurology surgeon and publicist, Nichole Wool, on behalf of Burke’s family, reported that Burke’s critical condition and serious injuries resulted in irreversible damage to her brain due to the lack of oxygen and blood flow after she went into cardiac arrest.

On January 19th, Sarah Burke succumbed to her serious injuries and wrongfully died. Before her death and per request she asked that her organs and tissues to be donated. Because of her incident at which she fell was unsanctioned and hosted by Burke’s sponsor, Monster Energy, she would not be covered under the insurance policy that applied to her when she completed the Canada Freestyle Ski Association. Following the day after her death, Burke’s agent established a website to fundraise money towards her hospital costs that would give “a foundation to honor Sarah’s legacy and promote the ideals that she valued and embodied.”

Sarah Burke was a Canadian freestyle skier and pioneer of the super pipe event. Burke was a four-time Winter X Games gold medalist and gold medalist in the world championships of 2005 for the half pipe. She was lobbied in the Olympic program for the 2014 Winter Olympics and was predicted to be a medal favorite for her events.


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Attorney A.W. Smith received a settlement agreement of $200,000 in September 2009 for a slip and fall case in a major retail department store.

*The names of the Plaintiff and Defendant in this case are confidential.

On April 7, 2007 the Plaintiff slipped and fell in the cosmetics section of a major retail store on a loose eye pencil. The pencils had been kept in an open display case. The fall led to a fractured hip, which required surgery. Following the surgery, the hip became infected. About one year later, the Plaintiff endured another surgery to replace the entire hip.

Due to these surgeries, along with doctor visits and other medical expenses, lost wages totaled $75,000 in medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Originally, the store made no offers, and showed no signs of settling. Employees testified that the pencils weren’t there when the Plaintiff slipped, or that she didn’t slip on the pencils, and rather her own shoes.

However, the settlement offer went up to $200,000 from the Plaintiff’s request when Attorney A.W. Smith revealed who his experts would be: a former store manager and a professional engineer who would testify to the lack of safety of the location of the eye pencils.
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