The Plaintiff, a 46 year-old aircraft engine draftsman, was a customer at the defendant’s retail hardware store located on the North Shore of Massachusetts. As the plaintiff was descending a winding set of wooden stairs, located inside the store, the plaintiff suddenly lost his footing on a narrow, pie-shaped stair-tread, causing him to fall down the remaining flight of stairs.
In support of his premises liability case, the plaintiff was prepared to offer evidence at trial that the winding stairway was dangerous, was constructed without the required building permits, and did not conform to the requirements of the Massachusetts Building Code.
As a direct result of his fall, the plaintiff suffered a painful lumbar strain and a possible compression fracture at the T6 level, from which he fully recovered within several months. The plaintiff did, however, go on to suffer an exacerbation of a pre-existing depression, which culminated in a period of in-patient psychiatric hospitalization.
The defendant was prepared to demonstrate that apart from any building code issues, the stairway was in otherwise good repair and was without defect. The defendant contended that the plaintiff’s fall and resulting injuries were the result of the plaintiff’s own negligence in failing to step carefully as he descended the stairway.
The case was settled following one day of mediation, just prior to trial.
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