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Lawyer Awarded $6M for Fall on Dance Floor After Firm-Sponsored Dinner

Posted Aug 12, 2010 9:40 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Canadian lawyer has been awarded $6 million for a fall on a nightclub dance floor caused when a law firm colleague fell on her. Both had been drinking, and both had attended a dinner sponsored by their law firm earlier in the evening.

The lawyer, Michelle Marie Danicek, was an apprentice at Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang in 2001 at the time of the accident, according to the National Post and the Toronto Star. Danicek still suffers from debilitating headaches and no longer practices law, her lawyer told the publications.

The colleague, Jeremy Poole, testified that he was drinking at both the law firm dinner and the nightclub, called Bar None, but he can’t say for sure that he lost his balance because he was intoxicated, according to the Toronto Star story.

Danicek says took eight months off work after the accident because of nausea, vomiting, headaches and memory problems, the National Post story says. When she returned to the firm in December 2001 she had to take up to 30 Advils a day. The next year, she was in a rear-end accident that worsened the nightclub injuries, she contended.

A judge awarded $5.9 million for the nightclub fall and $10,000 for the collision.

Poole made a third-party claim against the insurer for the law firm and its employees. A second phase of the trial will consider insurance coverage.

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