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Broward County, FL

This action involved catastrophic injuries sustained by the plaintiff after he fell from an extension ladder manufactured by the defendant. The plaintiff alleged that the ladder was defectively designed and retracted causing the plaintiff to fall. The defendant asserted that the ladder was not defective, did not retract and that the plaintiff’s fall was caused when he attempted to climb from the ladder to the roof.

The plaintiff was a 52-year-old male at the time of the incident. On October 24, ________, he was using a 16 foot extension ladder (manufactured by the defendant) to repair a roof over the front porch of his Miramar home. The plaintiff alleged that the top section of the ladder retracted while the plaintiff was on it, causing the plaintiff to fall.

The plaintiff fell some four feet to the ground below. He was diagnosed with head trauma and permanent brain injury. The plaintiff has remained in a persistent coma since the date of the fall. He was employed in the construction field prior to the fall. The plaintiff was married for 30 years and had two adult children who lived with him. At the time of trial, the plaintiff resided at a rehabilitation center where he received 24 hour care.

The plaintiff’s engineer testified that the ladder at issue lacked a safety device which would have prevented unwanted retraction of the upper section and avoided the plaintiff’s fall. The defendant’s engineer testified that he examined the ladder in question and observed that the damage pattern did not indicate an upper section retraction. The defense contended that the plaintiff attempted to climb from the ladder to the roof and fell in the process.The jury found that the ladder was not defective. The plaintiff recovered $________ under a high/low agreement. The agreement precludes post-trial motions or an appeal.

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