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A/C repairman sues homeowner for personal injuries after staircase collapse

Froilan Oritz, Jr., an air conditioning repairman has filed a personal injury lawsuit against homeowner, Elton L. Hudson after his stairs collapsed causing Ortiz to fall and hurt himself. (Case No. 13-CV-508)

According to the lawsuit, Oritz was in Hudson’s home to repair his air conditioner on April 4th.    As he walked up the stairs to the attic, where the a/c unit was located, the staircase gave way and caused him to fall.

Ortiz claims the fall left him with an interior capsule sprain of the ankle, a fractured talus, an osteochondritis dissecans of the post facet talus and talus at the ankle joint.

Hudson is accused of failing to warn of a known danger or hazardous condition or to make it reasonably safe; breaching his duty to inspect and make safe a dangerous condition; failing to reasonably and adequately maintain the stairs; and breaching his duty of ordinary care to make the stairs reasonably safe.

“The defendant knew or should have known that the condition of the attic stairs posed an unreasonable risk of harm to the plaintiff,” the suit says.

To be legally responsible for the injuries a person has suffered from falling on someone else’s property, the courts will consider the following:

  • Did the owner of the property cause the dangerous surface or item to be underfoot?
  • Did the owner of the property know of the dangerous surface but neglect to fix it?
  • The owner of the property should have known of the dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have discovered and repaired it.

Liability in these cases is often decided by common sense. The court system determines whether the owner of the property was careful by deciding if the steps the property owner took to keep the property safe were reasonable.

In determining a property owner’s “reasonableness,” the courts concentrate on whether the property owner makes regular and thorough efforts to keep the property safe and clean.

If you have suffered a personal injury due to the negligence of another person, please call California Personal Injury Attorney, Todd M. Friedman for a free consultation at 877-449-8898