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Premises Liability – Hazardous Premises – Alleged dangerous rubber expansion joint in between slabs on train station floor – Trip and fall – Hip fracture.

Fulton County, GA

The plaintiff, in her late 50s, contended that the approximate three inch wide rubber expansion joint was dangerous because one end was a-quarter inch higher than the recommended building guidelines, creating a tripping hazard. The plaintiff contended that as a result, she fell and suffered a fractured hip that necessitated a partial hip replacement.

The evidence revealed that although the incident occurred inside the station, weather conditions nonetheless tended to expand and contract the slabs, and that the rubber expansion joints had been placed to prevent cracking. The plaintiff contended that the joint should have been flush with the floor to prevent a tripping hazard.

The defendant denied that the area was dangerous. The defendant further argued that the jury should consider that they were first advised of the alleged injuries when suit was filed. There was no dispute that the incident occurred. The defendant also maintained that the plaintiff, who had walked through this area on a daily basis for 12 years, failed to make adequate observations, causing the fall and that her ability to be aware of the alleged defect was superior to the defendant’s.

The plaintiff introduced approximately $________ in medical bills and $________ in past lost wages. The plaintiff was able to return to her clerical job. She maintained that she continues to experience intermittent discomfort, which the plaintiff contended will last permanently and will ultimately necessitate a revision of the hip replacement surgery.

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