One of our recent cases shows just how far companies will go to avoid paying for their mistakes in a premises liability lawsuit. Our client was walking through a back gate of his apartment complex to deliver his rent check, sliding the payment through the after-hours mail slot. As he walked back to his apartment, he fell into the empty pool and suffered a compound fracture of his leg.

Multiple Defendants Pass the Buck for the Slip and Fall Accident

The case was complicated because there were several parties who could have been at fault. First, the pool had been drained because the pool area was under construction. Second, our client testified that the builders had left their tools scattered on the ground, forcing him to step around the equipment because there was no clear path. Finally, if the construction site had been run properly, there would have been sufficient warnings posted in the area, and access to the site should have been restricted. These oversights created a dangerous condition for our client and the other tenants.

The apartment complex had also contributed to the injury through a failure to ensure the safety of its residents. While the complex notified residents about the construction a week before the work began, it didn't block the area off to prevent entrance. In addition, the apartment operators should have provided an alternate location for the rent to be delivered after hours. Residents were forced to go through the back gate into the pool area—an active construction site—to deposit their rent checks. This area was also dimly lit, making it more likely that someone arriving after hours would trip or fall.

The apartment complex and the management company were pointing their fingers at the pool construction company, and the pool construction company was pointing its finger at the apartment complex. The defendants also tried to shift much of the responsibility onto our client for falling into the pool, claiming that he knew the pool was there and should have been able to avoid stepping into it.

Our Client Was Forced to Leave a Job That He Loved

The defense also attempted to downplay the severity of our client's injuries, claiming it was "just a broken leg." However, a compound fracture is much more than a broken leg; the pain is extreme and affects an individual's ability to be present in special moments and live life the way they want. An injury that causes chronic pain isn't over once the physical damage heals—it affects a person forever.

The compound fracture also forced our client to retire early from his job as a mailman. This was life-changing for him, as he told us how devoted he was to his work and would miss it every day. We spoke to his coworkers and used our client's testimony to impress on the defense insurance company how vital this job was to our client.

In the end, we used a safety analysis to show that the construction company and the apartment complex had failed in their duty of care. The people who pay to live in an apartment have the right to rely on the landlord or property company to provide a reasonable degree of safety—and that liability extends to anyone the complex hires to perform maintenance or construction. Our client received a settlement that compensated him for ongoing physical pain and the emotional pain of leaving a job he loved.

A California Premises Liability Attorney Could Get You What You Need to Move on

Insurers, property managers, and apartment complexes are all big businesses only interested in protecting their profits. If something like this has happened to you, you need Case Barnett Law to level the playing field and help you get the justice you deserve. Please call our office at 949-409-0055 or contact us online to begin your free, confidential consultation, or start reading our guide, The 7 Biggest Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Accident Claim.

$ 850,000

Case C. Barnett
Costa Mesa Personal Injury Attorney practicing in child injury law, car accident injuries and elder abuse law

DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients' cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.