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DEFENDANT''S Trip and fall on elevation difference between driveway and garage - Shoulder fracture.

Pinellas County

The plaintiff claimed the defendant homeowners allowed a dangerous condition to exist on their property in the form of a lip, or water dam, between the garage and driveway. The plaintiff alleged she was caused to trip and fall as a result of the elevation difference. The defendant argued that the raised floor of the garage did not constitute a dangerous condition and the fall was caused by the plaintiff’s failure to watch where she was walking.

The plaintiff was a female, approximately 45 years old at the time of the accident on November 5, ________. She and her son were making an unannounced visit to the defendants’ home and the plaintiff was walking into the defendant’s garage from the driveway, when she fell. The plaintiff testified that the fall was caused when her foot struck the higher surface of the garage floor.

The plaintiff’s engineer testified that the cement floor of the defendants’ garage was approximately an inch higher than the driveway, creating a tripping hazard.

The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeons testified that the plaintiff sustained a non-surgical shoulder fracture as a result of the fall and has suffered a permanent impairment.

The defendant’s construction expert and the builder of the home testified that the defendant’s garage floor was a common design to keep water from entering the garage and did not constitute a dangerous condition. The defense also argued that the condition was open and obvious and should have been observed by the plaintiff.

The jury found no negligence on the part of the defendants which was a legal cause of damage to the plaintiff. The defendants filed a proposal for settlement in the amount of $________ to the plaintiff and $51 to her husband for his loss of consortium claim. The defendant’s motion for attorney fees and costs is pending.

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