Jan 12, 2015 (As reported in the New Jersey Law Journal)
$1.625 million settlement for the plaintiff
A New Jersey woman will receive $1.625 million as compensation for shoulder and back injuries she sustained when a piece of ceiling tile fell and struck her while she was a customer at a TGI Friday’s restaurant. Plaintiff Kathryn Kenny, now 24, agreed to a settlement with the restaurant’s former parent company, Carlson Companies, and its excess carrier, ACE North America, on Jan. 5 after a settlement conference before Somerset County Superior Court Judge Thomas Miller, according to Kenny’s attorney Daniel Epstein. Kenny was injured on Nov. 7, 2010 while she was sitting at the bar at the TGI Friday’s in Watchung, NJ said Epstein of Epstein Arlen & Ostrove, in Somerset, NJ. The ceiling tile struck her head and right shoulder, Epstein said. He declined to identify the municipality where she lives. Kenny underwent surgery to repair damage to her shoulder and also underwent a discectomy and fusion to her cervical spine, and still experiences pain and discomfort, Epstein said. Carlson, which has since sold the chain, was self-insured for the first $1 million, Epstein said, while ACE will pay the remainder of the settlement. Carlson and ACE retained Michael Baer of Billig Loughlin & Baer in Teaneck, NJ. He did not return a telephone call.