High school slip-and-fall case settles for $5 million

A former high school administrator was awarded a $5 million settlement for severe injuries she sustained when she slipped on wet flooring glue at her parochial school in North Philadelphia.

Maria Mangano was the director of career services at Mercy Vocational High School, a Roman Catholic school, when Wargo Floors Inc. was contracted to install new floors in the school’s hallways.

On Aug. 9, 2012, Mangano was preparing for her students’ return from summer vacation when an employee of Wargo Floors asked her to unlock a classroom door so he could continue placing new flooring through the door’s threshold, according to a civil filing in Philadelphia's Court of Common Pleas.

Happy to help, Mangano left her office and walked down the hallway. The Wargo employee did not tell her about the transparent and slippery coating of adhesive that had been applied to the floor minutes before. Suddenly, her feet flew out from under her and she landed hard on her back.

Mangano, who had intended to stay at the school until she retired, sustained nerve damage that left her unable to work, said her attorney, Ken Fulginiti of Duffy + Partners.  

Wracked with intense pain and requiring the use of a cane, she was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, an ailment that causes her skin to be hypersensitive to any movement.

“It doesn’t show up on MRI or X-ray,” Fulginiti said of Mangano’s affliction. “It’s a constellation of symptoms which is diagnosed when all else is ruled out. “

Mangano now requires the assistance of her husband and friends 24 hours a day, Fulginiti said.

Wargo Floors settled April 7 before the case went to trial.