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$40K Awarded When Apartment Porch Collapsed

Settlement:  $40,000 for landlord’s failure to maintain deck

Facts:

While exiting his apartment to go to the mailbox, the porch gave way causing the 53 year-old plaintiff tenant to fall. Plaintiff sustained a right medial and lateral meniscus tear. After failed attempts to treat the injury conservatively, plaintiff  underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair the knee, followed by physical therapy.

Issues:

Landowners have a legal obligation to maintain their property and keep them safe and hazard free. Landlord defendant claimed at deposition he thought the wood decking was in fine shape and there were no defects. Landlord also indicated he had been to the property on numerous occasions prior to the date of the accident and was familiar with the condition of the property. However, photos and exhibits make it clear the wood decking was rotted, had only been partially replaced and created an unsafe condition.

Settlement:

The case settled for $40,000.

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