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ARTICLE ID 139173

$________ Concrete nosing of exterior steps leading to second floor apartment in two family home crumbles, resulting in plaintiff falling forward and fracturing her dominant humerus - Delayed union.

Ocean County

The 46-year-old plaintiff second floor tenant, in the two family house owned by the defendant absentee landlord, contended that the defendant negligently failed to repair the deteriorating concrete steps, resulting in the nosing collapsing under her feet and her falling forward, jamming her dominant right arm into an adjacent door, suffering a fractured humerus.

The plaintiff’s expert engineer would have maintained that the deteriorating condition was present for a significant period and the plaintiff would have argued that the defendant had constructive notice. The defendant denied that it had constructive notice. The defendant also contended that under the written lease, the plaintiff had the obligation to advise it of such alleged defects. The court held in limine that a jury could not consider this evidence on the issue of defendant’s duty, which it held was non-delegable, but could consider the plaintiff’s conceded failure to advise the defendant of the condition on the issue of comparative negligence. The defendant would not have produced an expert engineer.

The plaintiff suffered a delayed union and it took some months for the fractured humerus to heal. The plaintiff was a teacher’s aide and working as a waitress in the summer. The plaintiff contended that she can no longer continue as a waitress. The plaintiff maintained that although the fracture ultimately healed, she will suffer permanent pain and restriction and some difficulties with everyday activities.

The case settled after jury selection for $________.

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