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Philadelphia County, PA

The plaintiff was working for a maintenance subcontractor at the defendant’s Conshohocken, Pennsylvania steel mill when he fell from a ladder affixed to a furnace. The plaintiff claimed that the fall resulted from the defendant’s negligence in placing the ladder too close to an electrical conduit, failing to supply a non-slip covering for the ladder and failing to warn of the dangerous condition. The defendant denied that the ladder was dangerous and argued that the fall resulted from the plaintiff’s obesity and failure to use due caution when using the ladder, including the failure to maintain three points of contact while descending the ladder.

The plaintiff testified that on January 12, ________, he was working as a project manager on the first night of a job to service furnace parts at the defendant’s steel plaint. The plaintiff testified that, in order to climb down a fixed ladder on the furnace, he was required to get to his knees, turn around and climb backwards.

As the plaintiff was coming down the ladder, he contended that his foot hit an electrical conduit which was positioned approximately two and a-half inches from the rung of the ladder. The plaintiff claimed that his hands lost their grip and he fell from the sixth rung of the ladder to the ground below. The plaintiff’s engineer testified that the ladder should not have been placed in close proximity to the electrical conduit. The plaintiff also claimed that the ladder should have been coated with a non-slip material and that the defendant failed to warn of the dangers associated with the ladder.

The plaintiff, age 58 at the time, was diagnosed with injuries to his right arm and hip as a result of the fall. He claimed a total disability from employment.

The defendant’s engineer opined that the ladder was safe and did not present a hazard. The defense argued that the fall was caused by the plaintiff’s excessive weight of approximately ________ pounds and his carelessness and failure to maintain three points of contact while descending the ladder. The defense also argued that the plaintiff had recovered from the injuries sustained in the fall and was employable in a light duty capacity.The jury found that both the defendant and the plaintiff were negligent, but that the plaintiff’s negligence was not a proximate cause of his injuries. The plaintiff was awarded $________ in damages and his wife was awarded $________ for her loss of consortium claim, for a total award of $________. The case was resolved post-verdict.

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