Bell v. Law Offices of Howard A. Lawrence, LLC, NNHCV116025442S, 2013 WL 1943849 (Conn. Super. Ct. Apr. 19, 2013)

In a Connecticut Superior Court decision, Norma Bell recovered $537,787 in damages stemming from a fall at Stop and Shop Supermarket. The plaintiff’s award was against her former attorney in her personal injury action against Stop and Shop, who had failed to appeal Stop and Shop’s Motion to Dismiss.[1]

Case Background

On August 25, 2006, Norma Bell, when exiting from the Stop and Shop Supermarket located at 100 Division Street in Ansonia, fell due to the dangerous and defective condition of the parking area next to the store provided for use by its patrons.[2]  Stop and Shop, although not the owner of the parking area, would have the duty to use reasonable care to maintain the said area in a reasonably safe condition to which its patrons were invited to use.

As a result of her fall, the plaintiff sustained serious and permanent personal injuries including a serious cerebral concussion, frontal sinus dehiscence requiring craniotomy.[3]  Bell retained Howard A. Lawrence to represent her in connection with a claim for monetary compensation.

Bell’s attorney, Lawrence, filed suit against Stop and Shop only.  However, the lease agreement between Stop and Shop and the owner of the parking lot provided the lot owner was responsible for maintenance.  Bell’s attorney failed to include the owner of the parking in the action and after the court granted Stop and Shop’s Motion To Dismiss, Lawrence failed to appeal.

In the subsequent legal malpractice lawsuit against the Law Offices of Howard A. Lawrence, Bell won a judgment of $537,787.41 ($187,781.41 in economic damages and $350,000 for noneconomic damages) representing her damages for the “lost cause” against Stop and Shop.[4]

At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury.  Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County.

If you have any questions relating to a personal injury claim or attorney malpractice claim or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact Joseph Maya and the other experienced attorneys at our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at