Defective Steps Causes Fall Injury

Case Type: Premises Liability
Settlement: $ 1,175,000

Facts of the Case

Our client was an out of state truck driver who was making deliveries to several locations in Michigan. At one location, he was descending some wooden steps at a loading dock when they broke, causing him to fall to the pavement. The steps were poorly maintained and were rotting, which rendered them unsafe for use at the location. Our client suffered a significant back injury that caused him to be permanently disabled.

Types of Injuries and Harm Suffered

  • Back injury
  • Permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of past, present, and future earnings
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disability from normal activities

Legal Issues in the Case

  • Were the steps a dangerous condition?
  • Should the property owner have known about the dangerous condition?
  • How severe were the Plaintiff’s injuries?
  • Were the injuries suffered by the Plaintiff permanent?

What We Did To Win the Settlement

We inspected the property and obtained a photo of the defective steps before they were discarded by the defendant. We took depositions of current employees and tracked down the former maintenance supervisor for the premises and he testified that had previously told management that the wood steps were unstable and unsafe. We also hired a wood scientist expert witness and a vocational rehabilitation expert witness to support both liability and damages in the case. After litigating the case, the parties attended mediation and the case was settled for $ 1,175,000.