Slip and Fall on Stairwell

A patron slipped and fell down the bottom half of a stairwell sustaining a skull fracture and a severed brain membrane. The patron was developmentally delayed at the time of the injury and also walked with a limp. Allegations were that the handrail height was a major contributing factor in the patron's fall. Loss Amount: $172,500 The stairs were built in 1974 and had undergone several renovations over the years. Unfortunately, one building code concerning handrail height was overlooked. The handrail height had not been updated to current code prior to the accident and, in this configuration, created a hazard.

Claimants' attorneys often allege property-owner negligence based on building code or safety violations. With this in mind, all portions of your building should meet applicable code requirements. Although building codes are not usually retroactive, claimants often win verdicts based on current building code violations - as in this incident. It is important to conduct periodic evaluations of whether your properties are up to relevant building code standards. This is particularly true of older buildings. Any code violations that are identified should be remedied at once.