Case details

Plaintiff: Apartment complex failed to repair rusted handrails




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

back, bulging disc, fusion, lumbar
On Aug. 8, 2012, at around 10:40 a.m., the plaintiff, a 37-year-old self-employed private investigator, was on his way up the outside stairs, heading back to his apartment building unit after taking out the garbage, when he grabbed the handrail with his left hand and the base of the handrail snapped off the concrete. As a result, he lost his balance and fell three feet, landing hard on his buttocks and twisting his back. The plaintiff sued the owners of the apartment complex. He alleged the owners failed to repair and/or maintain the handrails, creating a dangerous condition. The plaintiff claimed that the base of the handrail was entirely rusted through and that the condition had existed for some time. He also claimed that the same condition was similarly present on the bases of many handrails throughout the large 484-unit apartment complex, as it was caused by water pooling on the sidewalks from rain and the sprinkler system., The plaintiff sustained a left paracentral disc bulge at L5-S1, which caused severe left neural foraminal narrowing and mild right neural foraminal narrowing. He subsequently underwent an L5-S1 anterior lumbar discectomy and fusion with plate fixation and revision. He also underwent a posterior lumbar decompression with placement of an interbody fusion cage and instrumentation, including harvesting and use of local and synthetic bone grafts for the fusion. The plaintiff claimed that his medical costs amounted to approximately $205,439.44 and that his lost earnings amounted to approximately $2 million. Defense counsel argued that the plaintiff’s lost earnings were speculative and that the plaintiff failed to mitigate his damages with respect to his treatment. Instead, counsel contended that the plaintiff tried a riskier treatment.
Superior Court of Orange County, Orange, CA

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