New Jersey Woman Receives $1.7M Settlement From Restaurant

A woman received a $1.7 million personal injury settlement from a New Jersey restaurant.A New Jersey woman won a $1.7 million settlement from a local restaurant after suffering from permanent brain damage when she fell down the steps of the business, according to the Times of Trenton.

Tessara Restaurant has agreed to settle the personal injury lawsuit with Cynthia Vena over the 2008 incident. Vena’s attorney said the 59-year-old was attending a work party at the restaurant when she attempted to go through an emergency exit to speak with a friend who was smoking on a porch outside of the establishment, reported the newspaper. The eatery had told patrons they could access that porch if they wanted to smoke.

As Vena was walking through the door she lost her balance, stumbled onto the porch and then fell down a flight of cement steps leading to a driveway below. The paper said the plaintiff experienced a skull fracture and brain contusion in the fall that required multiple surgeries and months of rehabilitation. Plus, as a result of her injuries, the lawsuit said Vena requires 24-hour care and cannot walk, drive or leave the house by herself.

The lawsuit alleged that Tessara illegally used the emergency exit and porch as a smoking area, reported the new source. In addition, Vena’s attorney claimed the emergency exit door did not meet code requirements.

A traumatic brain injury can lead to several complications including seizures, nerve damage and a variety of cognitive problems, reports the Mayo Clinic. Rehab such a physical and occupational therapy are usually required to regain basic skills.