Premises Accident

WRSMH attorney, Bill Hepner was able to obtain a settlement in the amount of $210,000 on behalf of the plaintiff, a 66 year-old woman, who was injured when she tripped and fell as a result of a defective step in her building. As she was walking up the steps from her lobby, part of one of the marble steps came off, causing her to fall. The firm was able to establish during depositions that the defendants were aware, for an extensive period of time, that the step was cracked and had done nothing to rectify the dangerous condition.

Our engineer alleged that although the step had not broken previously, the steps were poorly maintained, had visible cracks, and the landlord should have known that they could break. Additionally, the handrail started at a level that did not allow plaintiff to access it until she reached the defective step; it was obvious that there had been a prior handrail that went to the bottom of the steps.

Plaintiff suffered an injury to her shoulder which required arthroscopic surgery to repair her rotator cuff; she also injured her neck, which included the herniation of cervical discs. Plaintiff was already partially disabled from a prior knee injury for which she had surgery.

Although two mediations were held which failed to result in a settlement, follow-up with the defendant and the fact that plaintiff received a special preference for trial due to her age, helped resolve the matter.

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