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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 116727
Experience:  Licensed Attorney. Over 20 years experience in personal injury and law enforcement.
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My wife tripped on the sidewalk of Starbucks at 200 Fillmore

Customer Question

My wife tripped on the sidewalk of Starbucks at***** and hit her face on the cement suffering a concussion, very large bruise on her chin, knees,and her thigh. nerve damage, and muscle damage. The accident happened in May, 2013. She was under her Doctor's care for a year and a half for the muscle damage and the concussion, but he said that the nerve damage would heal gradually by itself. She kept getting phone calls from ladies that worked for Starbucks and when my wife called them back, that person wasn't available. That went on for a year and a half, I believe, for the sole purpose to take up time till the statue of limitations which was 2 years. I had suggested to get a lawyer after 6 months, but my wife declined thinking that Starbucks was an honest company, and would offer her a settlement for all her pain. Well, we were going to Kansas for Thanksgiving when a lady from Starbucks called and said " I guess you know that your case has been dismissed". That's when my wife realized that company wasn't that honest,and we started looking for legal help but couldn't get one around March. but at the last couple of weeks our lawyer was told bu Starbucks that the sidewalk in front of the building wasn't theirs and the cement company was responsible. It was too late to go to court, but the insurance company offered us 11,000 dollars for Dr. bills minus 33 percent. Do we have any recourse against Starbucks?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, to hold Starbucks liable for the defect in the sidewalk in front of their shop, you have to prove they were liable for maintaining that sidewalk and that they knew prior to the accident that it was defective and failed to warn or fix the defect. If you can prove they had ownership or a duty to repair the sidewalk, then if their employee intentionally delayed the settlement and you were in good faith negotiating with them, then you could potentially get the court to allow a suit to be filed out of time based on Starbucks being in bad faith in delaying the negotiations.
However, if Starbucks proves what they are saying, that they had no duty or obligation to repair the sidewalk where the accident occurred, you would have no claims against Starbucks I am afraid. If the insurance company is offering you something for the case even if it is out of time, it means they think that the litigation could cost them more than what they are settling for and you need to try to push the attorney to get a bit more, but if the attorney has verified that Starbucks was not responsible and the statute of limitations expired, I am afraid you would not have any real recourse against Starbucks I am sorry to say.

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