Premises Liability Verdicts & Settlements
Listed below are examples of cases we have been fortunate to be involved with in the past, as well as information as to how they were resolved.
Wagner v. the City of Columbus
Pre-suit settlement with the City of Columbus for $1,000,000. This settlement occurred despite assertions by the city that it was immune pursuant to the Political Subdivision Tort Act.
Nine year old Willie Wagner, Jr. was electrocuted and died after coming into contact with an energized light pole while walking across the Town Street bridge with a friend and his father. It was proven that, with the amperage presumably involved in this case, Willie’s heart did not go into ventricular fibrillation until five seconds after coming in contact with the electricity. It then took fifteen seconds to one minute for Willie to lose consciousness as a result of the fibrillation. During that entire time, Willie was most likely aware of his environment and experienced the pain and anguish of electrocution.
Stapleton v. Alum Creek Friends Church
Ten year old Chairadra Stapleton spent the night at a friend’s home. In the middle of the night, a fire was accidentally started in the basement by a candle. Despite the fact there were smoke detectors in the house, they were not operational; no alarms sounded and none of the adults in the house were timely alerted of the fire. Chairadra and another child were not able to escape the fire and died.
A negligence claim was brought against the defendants alleging, in part, that they failed to use ordinary care in maintaining and inspecting the smoke detectors located in the house so as to ensure that they were in working condition, and otherwise failed to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition. The case was settled for $700,000.
Harrington v. Shamrock
Carl Harrington fell approximately 20 feet at a building site where he was working as a subcontractor. Upon the direction of the general contractor, another subcontractor had cut an opening in the floor and covered it with a piece of opaque plastic. No barricades or warning signs were placed around the opening. As a result of his fall, Mr. Harrington sustained a brain injury that caused profound personality changes, a depressed skull fracture, blunt abdominal trauma, and multiple musculoskeletal contusions. Mr. Harrington was initially in a coma and underwent multiple surgeries to repair the skull fracture.
Defendants argued that the opening in the floor was an open and obvious hazard and/or Mr. Harrington was contributorily negligent. The case was settled for $542,500.
Roach v. Abc Corp.
$275,000 settlement reached in August 2002 on behalf of patron of restaurant complex who suffered fractured pelvis as a result of floor collapse. Hospitalization, but no surgery, was required. Client incurred $28,410 in medical expenses and lost wages, and required physical therapy for several months. Theory of recovery was premises liability predicated on negligence and notice of structural defects.