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Property Hazard (Premises Liability)

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Case Type: Dog Bite/Premises Liability/Negligence Claims – Parcel Deliverer attacked by Pit Bull upon premises of rental home – knee injury and skin puncture wounds

Lawsuit Filed: Yes (Buncombe County)

Summary: Plaintiff, employee of national parcel delivery service, was delivering a parcel envelope to a residence in Asheville, a property owned by Defendant, who was the landlord renting the home to owners of a Pit Bull. The residence did not have a fenced-in front yard, and there were no posted warnings or other visible or audible signs of a dangerous dog on the premises. Plaintiff alleged that the Pit Bull had dangerous propensities known by the tenants and the Defendant landlord. After the Plaintiff announced his presence, placed the parcel at the front door on the porch, and began to walk back to his truck, the Pit Bull, unexpectedly and without any warning, lunged through the front screened door and viciously attacked the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff sustained bite wounds to his left arm and right hand in addition to right knee trauma which necessitated surgery. In addition, the Plaintiff obtained counseling for mental distress suffered from the attack during which, as he testified, he felt his life was in imminent danger.

Liability Issues: Liability was adamantly denied by the Defendant landlord who benefitted from the sole insurance policy providing coverage for the Plaintiff’s damages. The Defendant alleged that he was not liability because he had no duty to protect the Plaintiff since he neither owned nor exercised any control over the dog. Furthermore, the Defendant alleged that he had relinquished control over the rental premises and was a proper, absentee landlord. In contrast, the Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant was imposed with a legal duty based on retention of sufficient control over the Pit Bull via the specific rental relationship and his retained rights to use and maintain relevant portions of the rental property.

Resolution Date: 2015 – The case was resolved confidentially prior to the court hearing the Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of whether or not the Defendant was imposed with any duty as to the protection of the Plaintiff.

 


 

Case Type: Premises Liability – Temporary matting installed by General Contractor-Fall Injuries-Severe Arm Fracture (intra-articular, comminuted, displaced fracture of the radius near left wrist, necessitating an open-reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) with grafting)

Lawsuit Filed: No

Summary: Claimant was employed as a medical transcriptionist by a tenant of a medical office building which was being renovated by a general contractor. The GC had installed temporary rubber matting in the elevator vestibule in the common area of the office building to protect the flooring while it performed demolition activities. Several sections of rubber matting were laid out in a grid with edges abutting and seamed together with industrial duct tape. The Claimant alleged that she tripped and was caused to fall, sustaining an arm fracture, when she caught the raised edge of a rubber mat, as she was transporting light-weight boxes to the elevator. Based on videotaped surveillance images, the GC claimed that the Claimant had, in fact, simply mis-stepped while placing boxes on the floor, and that the rubber matting was not involved with causing her fall. Furthermore, the GC contended that the matting was properly secured and otherwise did not pose a hidden hazard.

Liability Issues: Liability was denied by GC. Our firm retained the services of an industrial safety engineer to analyze the surveillance video and the rubber mat installation. Based on enhanced, slow motion, digital analysis, the expert concluded that the Claimant’s foot actually was caught abruptly by the raised edge of a mat covered by loose duct tape, which caused her to lose her balance due to her normal body momentum.

 

 

Resolution Date: 2015 – After reviewing the expert’s video analysis, the GC’s insurance carrier agreed to seek a resolution of the claims absent suit and the claims thereafter were resolved in a win-win manner.

 


 

Case Type: Premises Liability/Third-party negligence claims arising from workers’ compensation accident: Slip & fall on Black Ice within commercial office common areas – Spinal injuries

Lawsuit Filed: Yes (Henderson County, NC)

Summary: Employee of business tenant slipped and fell on black ice within a parking space and pedestrian pathway leaving his office, striking his head on the asphalt pavement causing an aggravation of a pre-existing neck condition which resulted in spinal cord compression and symptoms related to bowel/bladder dysfunction, necessitating neck surgery.

Liability Issues: Liability was denied by the building property manager/owner, as well as the snow and ice removal service company and its independent contractor. Plaintiff alleged that the defendants respectively failed to monitor weather and site conditions to detect the foreseeable formation of refreeze sheeting of snow/ice which was caused to melt, in part, by the contractor’s application of mechanical (snow plowing) and chemical (freeze-point depressors – ice melt) treatments, and, that they consequently failed either to remove the black ice or otherwise provide warning of such to pedestrians.

Resolution Date: February 2015. The case was settled confidentially prior to trial after two extensive mediation sessions.

 


 

Case Type: Premises Liability/Third-Party negligence claims arising from workers’ compensation accident against industrial company – Alleged immunity defense as Special Employer – Severe brain injury sustained in fall from warehouse shelving rack

Lawsuit Filed: Yes (Henderson County, NC)

Summary: The injured worker was employed by a temporary employment staffing company at an industrial plant that produced fabric batting. While at the plant performing his normal work duties, he engaged in the cleaning of an H-shaped storage rack with multiple shelves. While apparently on the top shelf using an airhose to remove dust and light debris from boxes, the worker fell over 16 feet to the concrete floor below, striking his head and sustaining a brain injury. He now requires 24/7 supervision for safety due mainly to memory deficits and poor judgment issues.

Liability Issues: The third-party defendant industrial company contended that it was a special employer under the law and thus afforded immunity from any negligence action based on an agreement for the staffing company (i.e., the general employer) to provide workers’ compensation benefits to all assigned workers. Accordingly, the threshold legal issue was whether or not a dual employer relationship was present providing tort immunity to both companies, and, consequently, whether the injured worker’s exclusive remedy at law was under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.

Plaintiff alleged that based on the specific contractual terms and conditions between the industrial company and the temporary employment staffing company that the former was not a special employer at law and, thus, should not be afforded immunity from a third-party tort action. The Plaintiff relied upon a recent North Carolina Appellate Court decision (Gregory v. Pearson) in support of his arguments. However, the Plaintiff acknowledged that the North Carolina Supreme Court subsequently declared upon review that the Court of Appeals decision would stand but without any legal, precedential value due to certain procedural laws. The Court of Appeals decision in Gregory had held that when a worker makes an implied or express contract of hire with both a general and special employer then the exclusive remedy for any subsequent accidental injuries is provided by the Workers’ Compensation Act and not in tort. However, the Court held that any express contractual terms to the contrary of such dual employment status could remove such tort immunity for the alleged special employer.

The Plaintiff alleged that the industrial plant failed to install reasonable and adequate safety measures to prevent the worker’s fall, including posted warnings for workers not to climb or work upon the subject storage racks and provision of fall protection devices. Furthermore, the Plaintiff alleged that the injured worker was not contributorily negligent because he was requested to perform the cleaning work and used reasonable care performing such notwithstanding the dangerous nature of the circumstances.

The defendant industrial company alleged that it was not negligent, that the worker engaged in unauthorized activities by climbing upon the subject shelving racks, and thus was contributorily negligent. However, it alleged at the threshold that it was afforded tort immunity as a special employer under the applicable law.

Resolution Date: February 2015. The parties entered into a confidential settlement of the claims after preliminary discovery pursuant to a highly amicable, good faith and respectful process, which included the significant cooperation of the workers’ compensation carrier as to a resolution of its subrogation lien.

 


 

Case Type: Premises liability – Business Stairway Fall – Lack of Guardrail – Severe Bilateral

Lawsuit Filed: Yes (Buncombe County)

Summary: Customer of commercial dog groomer lost his balance while attempting to assist his wife with their leashed pets, as both were walking down the front porch stairway at groomer’s business. The Plaintiff husband fell off an open side of the stairway which did not have a guardrail or a handrail, landing on both knees and suffering bilateral ruptured patella tendons in both legs.

Liability Issues: Business owner contended that it did not owe any duty to warn of any potential stairway defects based on allegations that the stairway conditions were open and obvious, including the absence of guard railing, and, thus, pursuant to North Carolina law no duty either to warn or to correct any alleged defects was owed. Although the customer admitted to numerous prior uses of the stairway without any incident, he otherwise contended that the hazardous stairway conditions were not open and obvious at the time of his fall because his attention was diverted to pet activities which should have been anticipated by owner. Such momentary diversions are recognized under the law as potentially imposing a duty upon a business owner to correct or warn of an otherwise open and obvious condition, even when a visitor may previously have been aware of such conditions. However, such does not remove the duty imposed upon the visitor to use reasonable care. Nevertheless, the customer contended that he had used reasonable care under the circumstances.

Notwithstanding the above legal duty issues, plaintiff counsel retained experts (an architect and general contractor) who contended that the applicable building codesrequired a guardrail with a handrail on the open stairway side.

The business building owner/landlord denied any liability based on no control over the subject premises as leased by the groomer. However, plaintiff counsel learned through investigation and litigation discovery that the building owner/landlord had personally constructed the stairway but failed to design and build such to meet the applicable code provisions. As the owner constructing such improvements, the Plaintiff alleged that landlord was required to abide by all applicable building codes, had imputed notice of any violations of such, and, thus, was negligent for failing to construct and maintained the stairway to meet applicable code provisions. Furthermore, the Plaintiff alleged that such failures were a proximate cause of the Plaintiff’s injuries in that (1) a guardrail would have prevented his actual mis-step off the side of the stairway, as his attention was diverted, and (2) that he would have been able to regain his balance if a handrail had been present, preventing his fall to the ground.

Resolution Date: 2014. The parties entered into a confidential settlement at mediation.

 


 

Case Type: Premise Liability/General Negligence – Homeowner steps through water- damaged flooring – Alleged Negligence of Professional Restoration Service Company – Severe Leg Trauma

Summary: Plaintiff homeowner requested access to home interior to retrieve certain personal items, after professional restoration service company had inspected premises for water-damage caused by a damaged crawlspace pipe. Service employees had exposed a large section of subflooring in the main living area adjacent to a hallway by removal of damaged surface flooring pursuant to inspection activities. The Plaintiff alleges that she was told she could walk across the floor area in order to retrieve personal items from a bedroom before renovation work was started. After taking a few steps, the Plaintiff’s left leg went through the subflooring, causing severe multi-fractures of her tibia and fibula, requiring internal hardware fixation and a prolonged rehabilitation period.

Liability Issues: Plaintiff alleged that service company employees neither advised her that the subflooring was damaged nor otherwise unsafe for pedestrian travel instruct, nor her not to use an otherwise open pathway across. Furthermore, the Plaintiff alleged that no warning signs or other measures were in place. Plaintiff’s counsel alleged that the restoration service company was aware from its inspection of the subflooring that it was defective and not supportive of pedestrian use, but otherwise failed to barricade the area or otherwise provide an adequate warning of the hazardous condition to the Plaintiff. The Defendant restoration service company alleged that the Plaintiff was contributorily negligent in that the hazardous conditions were reasonably foreseeable to her under the circumstances and that she assumed the inherent risk of walking over the uncovered subflooring.

Damages Issues: The Plaintiff suffered excruciatingly painful injuries and endured a considerable rehabilitation period that resulted in considerable loss earnings from work and consequential damages, including the home installation of temporary handicap accessibility.

Resolution Date: 2013. The claims were resolved absent litigation but based on extensive claim documentation presented to the prospective defendant’s insurance carrier.

 


 

Case Type: Premises Liability: Porch swing collapse

Lawsuit Filed: No (Buncombe County, NC)

Summary : Female career school teacher and grandmother from Florida visiting family at home of daughter and son-in-law sustained severe, multiple left ankle fractures when a porch swing installed by her son-in-law collapsed unexpectedly crushing her left ankle underneath the seat bench. Inspection of the swing installation revealed that eye-hook anchor screws had been installed without proper “purchase” (secured embedding) into one of the overhead framing joists. The joists were concealed by a vinyl fascia not providing any potential notice of the faulty installation to the swing users.

Liability Issues: Liability was neither admitted nor contested. However, the liability issue was complicated by the hazard being created by the son-in-law of the injured grandmother.

Damages Issues: The school teacher incurred lost wages due to an extensive rehabilitation process after surgical repair of her ankle fractures, including tibial and fibular fixation plate and screws. A major damages issues was whether or not she would require future ankle fusion which would further limit her mobility. Medical literature regarding statistical probabilities as to such future care were conducive to this element evaluation. Medical illustrations depicting the trauma and post-surgical repair were presented for claim evaluation.

Recovery Date: October 2011.

 


 

Case Type: Premises Liability/ Fall Hazard/Wrongful Death : Fatal Fall by Mason on Construction Site

Lawsuit Filed: Yes (Buncombe County, NC)

Summary : Masonry work fell 32′ from scaffolding through an unguarded door opening into an elevator/stairwell shaft, while working for a masonry subcontractor. The Plaintiff Estate Administratrix brought a negligence action against the general contractor (GC) and a separate independent masonry subcontractor who was performing work subcontracted out by the decedent’s employer. The Plaintiff alleged that the masonry subcontractor created the hazard by building the opening and then failed to install guardrails as required by OSHA regulations and industry custom. The Plaintiff alleged that the GC not only retained mutual control over the subject portion of the construction site and was imposed with relevant contractual safety obligations, but that it actually inspected the subject opening but failed to ensure that guardrails were installed.

Liability Issues: Yes. Both Defendants contended that the Plaintiff’s claims should be dismissed because no legal duty was imposed upon either of them for the direct safety of the decedent worker, and they also alleged the decedent caused his fall by failing to keep a proper lookout for his own safety. Accordingly, they brought Motions for Summary Judgment asking the court to dismiss the Plaintiff’s claims on two separate occasions, but which the Plaintiff successfully defeated.

Damages Issues: The Defendants disagreed with the Plaintiff’s evaluation of the damages sustained by the persons who would be beneficiaries of any jury award, the surviving spouse and an adult daughter.

Defense Counsel Representation: Yes

Recovery Date: 2010. The parties resolved the claims at a mandatory mediation prior to trial but after extensive evidence was developed. Consequently, the Plaintiff filed a motion to fully eliminate the workers’ compensation subrogation lien in excess of $140,000.00, based on alleged employer negligence and equitable principles. The motion was granted by a Superior Court judge after hearing all of the relevant evidence.

Co-Counsel: Robb Hill, Esq. (Asheville, NC)

 


 

Case Type: Premises Liability/Wrongful Death/Medical Office Fall Hazard: 14 year old boy passes out after immunization injection and dies from blunt head trauma

Lawsuit Filed: Yes (Buncombe County)

Summary: Patient obtaining physical for camp required next in series of immunizations. Immediately after injection, he passed out and struck his head on the floor, resulting in near immediate death.

Liability Issues: Plaintiff counsel determined after expert review that the community medical standard of care did not require any additional measures or warnings regarding a potential syncopal event after an injection than those engaged by pediatrician’s clinic. However, based on research, Plaintiff counsel learned that a significantly increased incident rate of such syncopal events in teenagers was well-published, and, in response, clinics in many areas were providing warnings for reasonable patient protection (e.g., instructing patients to remain seated for a certain period post injection). Consequently, Plaintiff counsel filed suit against the medical practice, not the physicians, on theories of premises liability and not medical negligence which is governed by strict statutory pre-suit requirements. In response, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the action in that it only could be properly brought under theories of medical negligence and that no such statutory requirements were met by the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff successfully defended said motion by demonstrating (1) the decedent patient was a lawful visitor on the premises to whom a duty of reasonable care was owed by the medical practice; (2) that such injection activities were performed upon “lawful visitors” (patients) on a regular basis; (3) that such posed a latent (not apparent to the patient) hazard of which the medical practice management was aware; and (4) that the medial practice failed to warn patients of such hazard or take other reasonable precautions.

Damages Issues: The liability issues took precedence in the settlement negotiations, and, the defendants otherwise respected the family’s loss of a child.

Defense Counsel Representation: Yes.

Recovery Date: 2007. The suit settled at mediation after extensive evidence was developed. Co-Counsel: Fred D. Smith Jr. (Martinsville, VA)

 


 

Case Type : Premises Liability/ Fall Hazard/Personal Injuries: Construction Supply Deliverer Falls through Unguarded Floor Opening and Suffers Severe Leg Injuries

Lawsuit Filed: Yes (Henderson County, NC)

Summary: Plaintiff and co-worker entered home under construction at daybreak to survey site for proper delivery location of decking boards. As worker attempted to exit the home which was “dried in” but did not have wall-sheathing installed, he fell into a 10 foot by 12 foot floor opening formed for a basement stairwell, sustaining significant injuries to his ankles and lower back.

Liability Issues : The Defendant Contractor and Defendant Framing Subcontractor alleged that the floor opening was barricaded by a proper railing and that the Plaintiff therefore had attempted to climb over the railing or was otherwise careless. In addition, the Defendants alleged that the Plaintiff otherwise failed to keep a proper lookout for such allegedly open and obvious hazard. Plaintiff’s counsel alleged that there were no guardrails present but that such were installed after the subject fall but prior to first responders arriving.

Damages Issues : A comprehensive life care plan assessing the project life-time care expense for the treatment of the Plaintiff’s injuries was developed.

Defen se Counsel Representation: Yes

Recovery Date : 2006

Co-Counsel: Fred D. Smith Jr., Esq. (Martinsville, VA)

 


 

Case Type : Premises Liability/General Negligence /Personal Injuries : Sign Falls Off Auto Parts Store Front and Severs Customer’s Achilles ‘ Tendon

Lawsuit Filed: Yes (Buncombe County, NC)

Summary: As a young man was exiting an auto parts store, a major section of signage over the entrance fell approximately ten feet, deflecting off the young man’s shoulder and then severing his Achilles’ tendon.

Liability Issues : The store alleged that it had no notice that the signage was in disrepair and likely to fall based on its reasonable inspections. The sign installer alleged that it had installed the sign properly and that it fell due to poor maintenance. The Plaintiff alleged that the sign had been installed improperly and not to industry standards. Plaintiff’s mechanical engineering expert testified that such failures were the cause of the sign coming loose absent any unusual wear and tear.

Damages Issues : Plaintiff suffered a re-rupture of the Achilles’ tendon after its initial surgical repair, but his treating orthopaedic surgeon stated that such was a reasonable possibility even with normal use.

Defen se Counsel Representation: Yes

Recovery Date : 2006. Settlement offers were extended by the Defendants before suit was filed which the Plaintiff found deficient. Suit was filed and the case resolved at a mediation with all Defendants about two weeks before trial for a substantially greater amount.

 


 

Case Type : Premises Liability/ Personal Injuries/ Inadequate Security: Elderly lady robbed and assaulted in parking lot of grocery store

Lawsuit Filed: Yes (Buncombe County, NC)

Summary: After leaving the grocery store, an elderly lady was robbed of her purse and thrown to the pavement by an unknown assailant.

Liability Issues : The Defendant regional-chain grocer denied that it had any prior notice of criminal activity on or near its store to cause it to take extraordinary measures either to warn patrons or provide additional security measures, including a potential security guard. Plaintiff alleged that the grocer knew or should have been aware of prior criminal activity of the nature that it should have installed additional measures, similar to what it had done at other stores. Plaintiff’s security expert testified that based on his investigation the criminal activity on or near the store that the subject robbery/assault was foreseeable and that local industry custom compelled the store to take additional measures which it failed to install.

Damages Issues : None. Plaintiff suffered an admitted hip fracture as a direct result of the assault

Defense Counsel Representation: Yes

Recovery Date : 2004. The Defendant grocer presented a vigorous defense, including an attempt to have the case dismissed before trial (summary judgment motion) which was denied by the court after considering comprehensive arguments by both parties. After a jury was selected, the parties settled the case for a confidential amount which represented a reasonable compromise between the parties.

 


 

Case Type: Premises Liability/Electrical Shock Hazard/Personal Injuries: Roof Maintenance Worker Contacts Low-Lying Powerline and Suffers Brain Injury, Severe Burns and Foot Injuries

Lawsuit Filed: Yes (Buncombe County, NC)

Summary: Worker was electrocuted when his head contacted power line across building while inspecting roof for maintenance. Co-worker received a severe electrical shock when he rushed to assist his friend, not appreciating the power line.

Liability Issues: Defendant power company denied liability and alleged that both workers were careless for failing to avoid the power line which it alleged was open and obvious.

Damages Issues: Plaintiff suffered burns to his scalp and severe injuries to his right foot due to the electricity traveling from his head on contact, through his body, and then exiting through his foot. According to his treating neuropsychologist, he also suffered a mild brain injury that caused problems with mental focus, depression, and other cognitive deficits.

Defense Counsel Representation: Yes

Recovery Date: 2002. The case settled at mediation for payment of funds to reasonably compensate the Plaintiff for his future medical expenses, his pain and suffering, and the affects of his injuries on his marital relationship.

Co-Counsel: Ron L. Moore, Esq. (Asheville, NC)

 


Case Type: Premises Liability/Fall Hazard/Personal Injuries: Tractor Trailer Driver Slips and Falls on Sidewalk Entering Fast Food Restaurant

Lawsuit Filed: No. (Gordon County, GA.)

Summary: Truck driver parked in designated lot for truckers and then was compelled to walk across drive-thru lane near which kitchen grease had been spilled on sidewalk by employees carrying out grease regularly to disposal container in rear lot.

Liability Issues: Yes. Defendant fast food restaurant reserved all legal defenses; however, carrier desired to explore pre-suit resolution based on liability documentation presented, which included evidence of hazard creation by Defendant and trucker’s compelled route causing hazard encounter.

Damages Issues: The Defendant carrier made a reasonable evaluation of the Plaintiff’s permanent injuries. Plaintiff had retired from trucking company but returned for a brief period. He sustained a significant knee injury in the fall which required a total knee replacement procedure. Due to residual knee impairments, he became totally disabled from work .

Defense Counsel Representation: No.

Recovery Date: 2000

 


Case Type: Premises Liability/Personal Injuries/Inadequate Security: Woman attacked and stabbed 29 times in convenience store restroom

Lawsuit Filed: Yes (Haywood County, NC)

Summary: Middle age couple stopped for gas on way to Cherokee for camping trip. While husband pumped gas, wife asked store attendant for restroom key. She was instructed that there was no key and the restrooms were outside in a separate building. While in a stall, a man dressed in women’s clothing attacked the woman and stabbed her 29 times.

Liability Issues: Yes. Liability was denied by the Defendants on the basis that they did not have any prior notice of similar criminal activity which would have caused them to take additional precautions. Plaintiff’s security expert testified that key-control was required due to the lack of clerk visibility from the store interior of the restrooms and the specific history of parking lot criminal activity. The attacker was never captured.

Damages Issues: The woman suffered a chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, including nightmares about her attacker. Although her stab wounds were severe, she did not suffer any significant permanent damage, despite a punctured lung.

Defense Counsel Representation: Yes

Recovery Date: 2000

 


 

Case Type: Premises Liability/Fall Hazard/Personal Injuries: Driver Suffers Brain Injury and Severe Arm Injuries after Falling from Petroleum Tanker Top While Loading Fuel

Lawsuit Filed: Yes (Spartanburg County, SC)

Summary: Tanker truck driver fell from top of tanker while loading fuel, suffering severe compound fractures in both forearms and a significant closed-head injury.

Liability Issues: Yes. Defendant petroleum storage facility denied liability alleging it sold product in the usual and customary manner and that any fall hazards were open and obvious. The adjacent access platform where tankers were parked for loading had guardrails, but drivers were compelled to use narrow tanker-top “catwalk” which did not have any guardrails. Drivers were further compelled to move filling nozzle with chain mechanism to fill tanker, which Plaintiff alleged posed a fall hazard. Plaintiff presented evidence of similar plants in relevant geographical area that had a “flip-down” guardrail system which dropped from adjacent platform over the tanker catwalk, providing reasonable fall prevention/protection.

Damages Issues: The Plaintiff’s resultant disabilities as a direct result of his injuries were at

issue.

Defense Counsel Representation: Yes.

Recovery Date: 1997

Co-Counsel: Admitted pro hac vice with assistance from Ernie Trammel, Esq., Anderson, SC.

 


 

Case Type: Premises Liability/Fall Hazard/Personal Injuries: Construction Worker Slips & Falls on Discharged Hydraulic Fluid Suffering a Severe Lumbar Spine injury requiring Plate & Rod Fusion

Lawsuit Filed: No.

Summary: Worker entered designated room where equipment “gang boxes” for all subcontractors were maintained, turned on light switch, took two steps, and slipped in hydraulic fluid. Third-party subcontractors experienced a busted hydraulic line on concrete saw while using gang box room. They left the room to seek repair part by closing, but not locking, door, turning off light, and failing to post any warning of fall hazard.

Liability Issues: Yes. Defendant general contractor and subcontractor alleged no duty to warn of hazard which they alleged was open and obvious to anyone using reasonable care entering room. However, in settlement negotiations, the Defendants did not seek substantial discount based on such allegations, and reasonable damages were recovered.

Damages Issues: Worker had a congenital spine condition (bilateral pars defect) that made him more susceptible to spinal trauma. However, he had experienced no back problems before the fall trauma, and his treating neurosurgeon stated that the trauma necessitated his spinal fusion.

Defense Counsel Representation: No

Recovery Date: 1995

Co-Counsel:

Ron L. Moore, Esq. (Asheville, NC)

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