Georgia Falls Caused by Defective Railings


May 27, 2011

With the nice weather coming, chances are people will be spending a lot more time outdoors, which can mean spending more time on outdoor porches, balconies, decks and patios.

According to the North American Deck and Railing Association, there are about 40 million decks in the U.S. that are more than 20 years old. These structures are not meant to last forever and without proper maintenance and inspections they can present dangers to those who are using them.

There have been many large verdicts returned as a result of lawsuits for defective railings. A South Florida woman was awarded $1 million just last year in a defective railing case. The hand railing on the stairs in her apartment building came loose as she was descending the stairs causing her to fall. She sustained multiple herniated discs in her back and had to undergo multiple surgeries. During the trial, the woman prevailed on a premise liability theory based on the fact that the railing on the stairway was not properly maintained.

Another example involves a 26 year old man who fell off the third floor deck of a Chicago apartment building and died when a defective railing failed. The man was getting up from sitting on the stairs to go to a table when he tripped and fell head-first through the metal railings, falling three stories to the ground below.

In the case, the family alleged that the property management company had been warned by their insurance company about six months prior to the accident that the railing's gap of two feet by eight feet was dangerous and needed to be enclosed with wire mesh. The property management company had even obtained bids for the work but had never hired anyone to come out and do the job. The experts provided by the plaintiff's attorney claimed that the wire mesh would have prevented the fall. The family won a wrongful death settlement of $2.7 million.

There are many instances where structures are not adequately maintained or they are not built to code. Dangerous and poorly maintained property or premises cause many personal injuries. If property owners ignore maintenance or building codes they may become liable for injuries that occur on the property. Loose, broken, or defective railings can cause someone to fall backwards, through them or down a flight of stairs, which can result in serious injuries or even death. These are examples of negligence on the part of a property owner so if injuries could have been prevented with reasonable maintenance then you may have a right to compensation for your injuries.

People also have a right to expect safe conditions in public places. If you were injured or if your family member was injured or killed as a result of a defective railing, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Montlick and Associates. The sooner you talk to an attorney following an accident, the easier it will be to preserve or develop any relevant evidence, such as photos of the missing or faulty railing and/or identify eyewitnesses to your accident.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing victims of slip and fall accidents in shopping malls, restaurants, grocery stores and other locations throughout Atlanta and all of Georgia for over 27 years. If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia, our Georgia slip and fall lawyers can help. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com and fill out our Free case evaluation form or use our Free 24-hour Live Online Chat. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.