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Premises liability - Falling object - Alleged dangerous garden statue falls on foot - Claimed permanent nerve damage.

Miami-Dade County, FL

The plaintiff was a landscaper who was trimming trees on the plaintiff’s property when he claimed that a garden statute fell and landed on his foot. The defendant argued that the statute was not dangerous and fell because it was knocked over by the plaintiff.

The plaintiff testified that he was using a chainsaw attached to a 15 foot pole to trim trees in the defendant’s garden. The plaintiff claimed that a 32 inch high statute of a cherub, weighing approximately 50 pounds, fell from a pedestal and landed on his foot. The plaintiff denied contacting the statute. The plaintiff’s engineer testified that the statute was placed on the pedestal in an unstable manner, making it prone to fall over.

The plaintiff, a man in his mid 20s at the time, was diagnosed with injuries to his foot and permanent nerve damage as a result of the incident. He complained of continuing foot pain, inability to walk long distances and testified that he sometimes walks with a limp.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff caused the accident by standing next to the statute and knocking it over with the long handle of the pole saw. The defendant testified that the statute had been in the same position for some eight years without mishap.

Weather reports showed maximum wind speeds of 24 mph on the day in question. The defendant’s engineer testified that he tested the stability of the statute and it could not possibly have been blown over by the wind. The defendant’s orthopedic surgeon opined that the plaintiff’s diagnostic tests were normal and that any foot injury he had sustained had completely resolved.

After a deliberation of approximately 25 minutes, the jury found no negligence on the part of the defendant which was a legal cause of injury to the plaintiff. The defendant’s motion for attorney fees and costs is pending.

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