Molly Cobrey, age 46, slipped and fell on a piece of wet cardboard on Friday night October 2,
2015 at 9:00 pm on a faux brick tile walkway outside the Fine Fare Supermarket at 2987
Fredrick Douglas Boulevard in Harlem. Molly’s fall caused serious and permanent injuries
including tears in her left knee, tears in her left shoulder and disc injuries to her neck and back.
She had surgery to repair her left knee and another surgery to repair her left shoulder; she was
recommended to have spinal surgery, but did not undergo that procedure.
Greenberg Law P.C. argued that the store negligently placed cardboard on the walkway at the
store’s entrance, and that on the rainy day of Molly’s fall the cardboard had turned mushy. That
soft and slippery cardboard caused Molly to slip and skid as she exited the store.
The lawyers and insurance company for the supermarket refused to admit they had done
anything wrong and refused to offer Molly fair compensation for her injuries. The supermarket
manager maintained that he had no memory of any incident, and he testified that the supermarket
never used cardboard in place of outdoor mats.
Our team refused to give up or settle for anything less than fair compensation, so the case went
to trial. Despite the challenge of not having photo evidence of the cardboard that caused Molly to
fall, we insisted that the supermarket was responsible for the condition Molly described. To
prove our case, we successfully obtained sworn affidavits from individuals who had seen the
store put down cardboard, and we secured a report from an EMT at the scene stating that Molly
told them she had slipped on wet cardboard. The supermarket’s lawyers filed numerous motions
at trial trying to argue to the court that there were a number of problems with our case, but the
judge denied all of their motions.
The trial, which took place during the challenging reopening of the courts during Covid, when
everyone had to be masked and sit with social distancing, lasted six days. The jury had to decide
the case based on which witnesses and experts were more knowledgeable and more believable.
In a passionate closing argument by Alan Greenberg, he appealed to the jury asking whether they
truly believed that Molly had been so clever and so devious a liar as to make up the idea of th
cardboard being at the entrance in the ten minutes before the EMTs arrived; he asked the jury
whether they believed that Molly then faked her limp and limited range of motion, and agreed to
undergo multiple surgeries and all types of therapy if she was not seriously injured in this fall.
Mr. Greenberg asked the jury to award $600,000 in past damages, and $3Million in future
damages for the rest of Molly’s life.
In less than two hours the jury came back and announced that yes, the supermarket had
negligently caused Molly’s fall and injuries. The jury awarded Molly $6.2Million dollars for past
and future damages and pain and suffering.
At the time of the publication of this summary in August 2021, the verdict in the Cobrey case is
still the second highest jury verdict in the State of New York, and the highest jury verdict in New
York County, for the year 2021.