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$________ GROSS Employer’s Liability – Negligent provision of defective ladder – Failure of employee to properly hold ladder – Fall – Calcaneus fracture – Multiple surgeries performed – 25% comparative negligence found – New trial granted.

Broward County, FL

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant provided him with a defective ladder and that one of the defendant’s employees failed to properly hold the ladder, causing the plaintiff to fall. The defendant denied giving the plaintiff the ladder, denied that the ladder was defective and denied that her employee was holding the ladder at the time the plaintiff fell.

The plaintiff was the defendant’s brother-in-law and was hired by the defendant to build three barns on the defendant’s farm in the Davie area. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant gave him a defective metal step ladder which was old, missing a hinge and had badly worn feet. The plaintiff claimed that he was on the ladder and the ladder was being held by an employee of the defendant. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s employee let go of the ladder and he fell. The plaintiff sustained a calcaneus (heel) fracture which required three procedures including a triple arthrodesis and osteotomy (fusions).

The defendant argued that the ladder did not belong to her and she did not give it to the plaintiff. The defense also contended that there was nothing wrong with the ladder. The defendant’s employee testified that he came out of a house on the defendant’s property and saw the plaintiff lying on the ground. The employee denied that he was holding the ladder for the plaintiff.The jury found the defendant 75% negligent and the plaintiff 25% comparatively negligent. The plaintiff was awarded $________, representing past medical expenses only. The plaintiff was granted a new trial after the court found that the verdict was inadequate. The defendant has filed an appeal of the denial of defense motions for directed verdict. The defendant filed a proposal for settlement in the amount of $________.

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