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$800,000 Jury Verdict for Closed Head Injury after a Fall on Ice


A 73 year old Edison man accepted $800,000 yesterday to settle a lawsuit claiming he was severely injured when he slipped on ice and fell outside a bank.

Harold Osborne accepted the sum in state Superior Court in New Brunswick to settle his lawsuit against PNC Bank of Edison and Petty Construction Inc., a snow removal company from the Iselin section of Woodbridge. Barry Eichen an Edison lawyer representing Osborne said his client suffered a severe neck injury when he fell January 16, 1996.

As a result, Osborne, a retired machine operator underwent surgery but continues to suffer pain and uses a cane to walk, the lawyer said. Eichen also said Osborne suffers from lost sensation in his right hand as a result of the injury.

Osborne, who had a part-time job with a florist, was delivering flowers to the bank then the Midlantic Bank on Thornall Street in Edison when he slipped on a ramp leading to the entrance, according to court records. The florist was not identified in court papers and was not named as a defendant.

The bank, which later became PNC Bank, and the snow removal companies were accused in the lawsuit of failing to properly remove ice and snow from the ramp, according to Eichen.

The bank agreed to pay 75 percent of the settlement, and the snow removal company will contribute the remainder under terms of the agreement reached before the case was to be tried before Superior Court Judge Amy Piro Chambers.

Michael Tuzzio, a Tinton Falls attorney representing the bank, declined to comment.
By: Jim O’Neill