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ARTICLE ID 195826

$________ Premises Liability – Fall down – Dangerous walkway of defendant homeowners who acted as their own GC when constructing walkway – Absence of handrails – Inadequate lighting – Comminuted fracture of dominant elbow – Two surgeries – No income claims.

Monmouth County, NJ

The plaintiff, in her early 50’s , who went to the defendants’ home around 9:00 p.m. to pick her daughter up from a birthday party, contended that the private walkway was very hazardous, and that the danger was heightened by the absence of lighting. The plaintiff indicated that as she approached the home, she noticed it was very dark with no lighting.

Once inside the home, the plaintiff advised her child to walk behind her as it was very dark. The plaintiff lost her footing on the way out and maintained that the allegedly hazardous condition caused the fall. The plaintiff’s engineering expert opined that the construction of the walkway, performed by the homeowners as their own general contractor, was constructed improperly without handrails or consistent riser heights. The expert maintained that when coupled the lack of appropriate lighting conditions, an especially hazardous condition was created. The plaintiff’s expert contended that a host of building/safety standards, were violated, resulting in the accident.

The defendant’s engineer maintained that the walkway was appropriately built, and denied that there was inadequate lighting. The defendant further contended that the plaintiff, who had just walked on the walkway on her way in, was overwhelmingly comparatively negligent when fall in her way out.

The plaintiff sustained comminuted fractures of her dominant ulna and radius, and underwent an initial open reduction and internal fixation. The plaintiff maintained that because of continuing problems with the surgical plate and screws, she endured a second procedure involving exploration of the left elbow with the partial excision of the olecranon approximately six months after the incident. The plaintiff sustained physical therapy and utilized multiple braces, and maintained that she will suffer permanent pain and limitation. The defendant’s orthopedist maintained that the plaintiff made a much better recovery than claimed.

The plaintiff made no income claims.The case settled prior to trial for $________.

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