Verdicts & Settlements: $2.7 Million Settlement in Defective Deck Railing Death
December 5, 2010
Notice if one major issue that a plaintiff will have to prove in this sort of cases. If a defect exists and the owner who has a duty of reasonable care towards the intended users of the premises does know about it, then in failing to fix or remedy that defect, he has been negligent.
There are times when actual notice is difficult to prove–but through other evidence, such as the period of time the defect existed, one may be able to show constructive notice of the defect and prevail.
In the case below, evidently, actual notice of the defect was shown through aggressive and effective discovery procedure. Kudos to the Corboy and Demetrio law firm for obtaining an excellent result for their client.
Kenard Management Corporation, KMC, has agreed to pay $2.7 million to the family of a man who died from injuries sustained when he fell three stories as a result of defective metal deck railings. Attorneys Francis Patrick Murphy and Robert Bingle, partners at the law firm of Corboy & Demetrio, represented his surviving family.
On Monday, January 1, 2007, a 26 year-old young man was a guest at a friends apartment at 3180 North Clark Street in Chicago, Illinois, celebrating New Years Eve with friends from college. He and five other people at the party were on the third floor deck at the back of the apartment building. When he got up from sitting on the stairs to walk to a table, he tripped and fell head first through the metal railings of the deck to the ground below. He was subsequently transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He is survived by his parents and brother.
Through extensive evidence discovery and motions to compel alleged privileged documents, it was learned that almost six months prior to the incident, KMC was alerted by its liability insurance carrier that the large railing gap – 2 feet by 8 feet – should be closed with a wire mesh. KMC had received bids to repair the defect but had not acted on any of them. According to plaintiffs experts, the proposed work would have prevented the young man from falling through the porch railing system.