$275,000 Leg Injury Case

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We have safety standards to protect us from dangers. Here's what happened when a homeowner failed to comply with safety standards. A beautiful multi-million dollar home was built on a country club golf course. The owners wanted an authentic wine cellar with a stone staircase, built of beautiful stone. Their stonemason never built interior steps before and was unaware of county requirements or CABO Code. The staircase was dimly lit to cast shadows, had no handrails and the stair tread height was irregular. One of the steps had a small piece of stone extending like a point beyond where you step. The stone staircase and wine cellar was as beautiful as you might find in a European medieval castle, with dimly lit staircases with no handrails and shadows. The owners did not let guests wear shoes in their wine cellar, but to wear slippers or remove their shoes. 

My client was a guest they invited into their wine cellar., who removed his shoes, walked down the dimly lit staircase with no handrails. His sock snagged the stone point. He fell down the staircase and injured his leg caused by the irregular height of the stair tread, dimly lit staircase and no handrail to steady himself. 

This violated county standards and the COBO Code; plus the obvious negligence of installing stone steps with a point sticking out to snag socks. The owners denied doing anything wrong, claimed my client fell because of his own negligence. His sock would not have snagged if the owners let him wear shoes, rather than protecting their beautiful wine cellar. I don't know if their wine cellar is safe, if they still make their guests remove their shoes, but they're now mindful of their guest's safety so they don't have to pay out another $275,000.


Howard L. Stopeck, LLB, JD

33+ Years Trial Experience

Bar Member: Georgia, Federal, U.S. Supreme Court

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