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Alan Joseph has just turned 32 and lives in Mountain View, California. He's just landed a great job as a chef at a local restaurant – and the owner of the place has given him the option of being able to introduce his own customized items to the main restaurant menu. The date for the official menu item launch is coming up and he has a deadline set for preparing some of the food beforehand.

Together with the owner, they put a lot of time into planning every detail of the new menu's launch. He suggested that the restaurant add some vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free items to the menu – and the owner loved his take on pizza, pasta and vegetarian dishes during the tasting session.

These ingredients means that Alan has to make a trip to the local farmer's market to make sure that he finds the best, freshest ingredients for the vegetarian dishes (and for easy access to some of the gluten-free items). This goes well, and all of the ingredients make it safely to the restaurant in preparation for the launch the next morning.

Just after the restaurant has closed for the day, Alan heads home with a lot of optimism about the menu launch. The owner himself loved the food – and they're both sure that the customers are going to feel the same way. He relies on his grandfather's recipe to make the base sauce for the burgers and nobody has ever tasted anything like it before.

He makes a stop at an after-hours liquor store on the way home. It's been a good day and he'd like to have a glass of red wine to celebrate the great news and unwind.

The attendant directs him over to the freezers at the back where the wine is kept.

When Alan opens the door to the freezer, it breaks off the hinges after falling due to a slipper floor. He manages to get up, but experiences a severe pain on the right side of his chest. Fearing a heart attack due to a history of heart conditions in his family, he drives himself straight to the emergency room.

Scans and tests are immediately ordered by the emergency room staff. When the tests results are back, Alan is glad that there's no sign of a heart attack – but this doesn't mean he's out of immediate danger. The resulting scans show that the door falling on his chest caused three broken ribs, which explains why he had been feeling such severe chest pain on the way to the hospital.

A broken rib is one of the few types of injuries that can't just be put into a cast. The doctor immediately books him off work for several weeks. He insists that he can go back to work, but the doctor doesn't agree with him and prescribes a strict stay-at-home routine.

The store shrugs off the seriousness of the incident and they deny that they were at fault.

Alan calls his boss and says that he is unable to attend the launch. It's a disaster for the restaurant. Only Alan knows how to make these dishes and the restaurant has been advertising the launch for weeks.

Alan has to send the recipe to his boss so that the launch can still go ahead.

When Alan gets back to work, the boss has appointed another head chef but kept the new items on the menu.

Alan experiences chronic pain due to the injury which has a drastic effect on how he is able to find employment from there. The rib injury makes the time spent standing up in a warm kitchen impossible and he has to find alternative employment after his accident.

If this fact pattern sounds familiar, contact a slip and fall attorney.

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