Carey slipped and fell on ice on the stairs to her apartment complex. She broke her elbow and required surgery to repair it. She racked up more than $22,000 in medical bills and missed dozens of hours of work as a softball coach. BBGA attorney Michael Ruppersburg proved the ice was from a drainpipe that had been leaking for months and that the apartment complex was negligent for not repairing it. He secured a $110,000 settlement for Carey, which was more than five times her medical bills.

Here’s what Carey had to say about our work:

An Ordinary Day Turns into a Months-Long Recovery

Carey was walking out of her apartment one day in January of 2017 when she slipped on a patch of ice at the top of the stairs outside of her apartment. The ice was caused by a leaky drainpipe that had been leaking for quite some time, which overflowed and caused water to puddle at the top of the steps and flow down them.

Immediately following the incident, Carey was driven to Piedmont Hospital where X-rays showed an intra-articular fracture of the olecranon.

She had broken her elbow.

Carey’s elbow was placed in an arm splint and during her follow-up appoint with an orthopedic surgeon a couple of days later, they recommended surgery be performed the next day.

During Carey’s surgery, several small holes were drilled into her arm, so wires could be put into place. A second surgery was performed several months later to remove the hardware from her elbow. Carey also went through weeks of physical therapy to regain full range of motion of her arm.

Holding the Apartment Complex Accountable

Michael Ruppersburg was determined to hold the apartment complex accountable for their negligence and maximize Carey’s recovery by proving the apartment complex was negligent

For an injured person like Carey to win a slip and fall case, they must prove:

  1. The property owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard
  2. The injured person did not have notice of the hazard despite exercising ordinary care for their own safety

Neighbors testified that the drainpipe had been a problem for months. Photos and videos of the stairs taken after the fall showed water leaking out of the drainpipe and running down the stairs and mildew that had built up where the water would run.

Given this, it was obvious the leaking drainpipe had been a problem for a while and that an inspection by the apartment complex should have discovered it.

 

The preventable accident caused Carey to have to undergo two surgeries and weeks of rehabilitation. While she has made a good recovery, she has a nasty scar and her injury continues to cause her pain and require prescription medication. Her injury affects her ability to do everyday activities such as take care of her child, carry groceries, coach her softball team, and participate in softball practices.

While no amount of money can change what happened, we were proud to represent Carey and secure compensation for her losses.

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