Premises Liability - Plaintiff suffers skull fractures when balcony rail collapses
Breakstone, White & Gluck, P.C., Boston (For the plaintiff)
The 19 year old plaintiff was leaning against a balcony railing at a mall in Woburn, Massachusetts. Suddenly, the railing gave way and the plaintiff fell from the second floor to the first floor, striking his head and causing skull fractures.
The plaintiff initially was in very serious condition and was in an induced coma for approximately one week. Thereafter, the plaintiff made a good recovery after attending three months of daily occupational and physical therapy for his personal injuries.
At the time of the mall accident, the plaintiff worked part-time at McDonald's. He was a high school graduate who lived at home with his parents. After his lengthy period of rehabilitation, the plaintiff was able to resume working and was able to engage in most, if not all, of his usual activities of daily living.
The plaintiff alleged that the owner of the mall knew, or should have known, that the railing was in serious disrepair and that routine inspections would have revealed the serious decay in the concrete beneath the plate that secured the railing. The owner of the mall contended that the disrepair was hidden and that to the extent that the railing failed, it was because of work that had been done previously by the iron fabricator two years before the fall occurred.
At the mediation for the premises liability accident, the mall owner’s insurer paid the full settlement amount and is pursuing a third-party case against the iron fabrication company.