Premises Liability - Multiple Fractures Caused by Stair Collapse
Plaintiff was a 59 year old businessman who was visiting a commercial building in downtown Boston. He was leaving the building on a back stairway. When he stepped on the landing, which was made of slate, the slate fractured, and he fell through the landing approximately 12 feet. As a result of the landlord's negligence, he broke both ankles and his left shoulder, and had several lacerations from the broken slate floor.
Investigation and discovery revealed that the negligent landlord had no inspection program for the property, and failed to recognize that the multiple cracks in the landings and stairs were an obvious indication that the floor had structural problems. After the accident, the landlord replaced all of the landings and many of the steps on the stairway. Though liability was reasonably clear, the landlord vigorously denied liability and defended the case.
Plaintiff required multiple surgeries for his injuries, and was left with a permanent partial disability in one leg and his left arm. Plaintiff was self-employed, and was gradually able to return to work on a modified schedule.
The case was settled at mediation shortly before trial.
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