Partygoer Hurt When Second Floor Deck Collapses – $400,000.00
Reported in the Lawyers Weekly
As a college student, the plaintiff was attending a graduation party in August 1999. The party was taking place on the second floor of an apartment building that was three stories high. While standing on an open porch, it suddenly pulled away from the complex, and in turn brought the third floor deck down with it. The porch collapsed approximately 20 feet, and landed about 3 feet from the ground.
During the accident, the plaintiff was struck on the shoulder, and was also pinned on the outside of the porch. Luckily, she was able to leap from her position to the ground. In this incident liability was never an issue.
Initially, it appeared that the plaintiff had only sustained minor injuries. She was treated for right shoulder and thigh pain, as well as some abrasions. Due to recurring pain, she sought medical attention and was subsequently diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome.
Over the coming year, the pain did not subside, so the plaintiff underwent MRI testing. This test did not show any further damage, and she was finally diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. This led to treatment including physical therapy, and in the end surgery.
The surgery took place in early 2002, and included treatment of an injured rib, as well as a subclavin artery injury. As a result of the surgery, several complications arose.
After the surgery the plaintiff remained in the hospital for two weeks. This was followed by a long rehabilitation period that lasted nearly a year. A year after the surgery, the plaintiff’s expert medical consultant found a 10 percent impairment of the upper extremity.
Furthermore, the plaintiff suffered from scarring due to the overall nature of the surgery in 2002. This was accompanied by complaints of ongoing pain in the hand and arm.
Due to the fact that liability was never an issue, the defendant and plaintiff agreed to not move forward with formal discovery. The plaintiff allowed the defendant to obtain medical records for their review. When this process was complete, the parties met to settle the case.
Even though initial talks of settling took place in 2001, the plaintiff decided to hold back due to ongoing injuries. This resulted in an increased financial settlement in the end in March 2004 for $400,000.00.