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Plaintiff trips and falls while descending aircraft's staircase due to alleged defect in design - torn meniscus of right knee - three arthroscopies.


This action arose out of a trip and fall accident involving the female plaintiff, who sustained a torn meniscus of the right knee when she tripped while descending the Cessna ________’s staircase. The plaintiff contended that the Cessna’s staircase was defectively designed due to the presence of a gap between the tread and riser of the top step upon which the plaintiff allegedly tripped.

The subject accident occurred on October 25, ________, in Las Vegas Nevada. The aircraft in question was manufactured by the defendant Cessna Aircraft Company and owned and controlled by the co-defendant Tiger Air Service Center, Inc. The plaintiff’s husband, who sued for loss of consortium, was general manager of Tiger Air Service at the time of the accident. The flight to Las Vegas was made for the purpose of showing the plane to a prospective buyer. The plaintiff had ridden along as a non-paying guest at the request of her husband, to visit her daughter in Las Vegas and to pick up a pair of free prescription sunglasses. The plaintiff contended that the heel of her high-heel shoe became caught in a space between the tread and riser of the top stair of the aircraft staircase. As against Cessna, the plaintiff contended that this gap constituted a design defect. As against Tiger Air Service Center, the plaintiff alleged that Tiger Air’s pilot was negligent in the manner in which he assisted the plaintiff down the stairs. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the pilot’s attention was drawn away from the plaintiff as she reached for his hand, which the plaintiff maintained was moved at the last second, further contributing to her fall.

The defendant Cessna denied that the small gap constituted a defect and alternatively maintained that even if it did, the accident was not caused by the plaintiff’s heel becoming stuck in the space. The co-defendant Tiger Air maintained that it’s pilot was exactly where he was supposed to be at the time of the fall and that his inattention had nothing to do with the accident, as the plaintiff fell before even attempting to accept the help offered by the pilot. The defendant Cessna filed a statutory ________ offer of $________ and the co-defendant Tiger Air tendered a statutory offer of $________. During trial, plaintiff indicated that it would let Tiger Air out of the case for $________, but when the demand was met by the co-defendant, the plaintiff withdrew the demand. In closing arguments, the plaintiff asked for $1 million. The jury found for the defendants.

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