Category: Premises Liability

$1.435 Million Settlement Against Three Defendants After Extensive Litigation

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Gary represented the Macharias and settled the case for $1.435 million against three parties after extensive litigation, a mediation and further negotiation. They were injured in a Memorial Day 2013 deck collapse. They were sitting on their deck with family when the deck surprisingly collapsed beneath them. We sued the owner of the apartment, the Sandlewood Creek Condominium Association and the management company that was supposed to manage the property, Roy H. Smith Real Estate Company.

In the course of discovery we were able to obtain some extremely damning evidence against all three defendants. The day after the incident St. Louis County came out and found 60 decks out of code at the Sandlewood Creek Condo complex.  The decks were not bolted to the buildings - instead they were nailed in. In fact, Mary and Michael had complained to the owner before this that the deck seemed wobbly and he had promised to come out to look at it. The Owner and the condo association disputed who was responsible for the deck and sued each other. But the evidence showed that both were responsible.

We obtained documents showing hundreds of repairs and problems with the decks. The condo association president, who owned 50 units, testified that the decks were in "incredibly bad shape." The association had done deck repairs for years and had a special fund to repair them. But the day after this incident, they sent a memo to all tenants and owners saying the decks were not their responsibility but the unit owners. If the association had put in as much time repairing the decks as they did blaming others, the deck never would have collapsed.

Michael fractured his left ankle and Mary sustained a non-displaced fracture to a vertebrae. Michael had two surgeries to repair his ankle, and Mary received physical therapy and pain medication. The value of Mary and Michael’s combined paid medical expenses were only $56,696.98. Mary’s past billed medical expenses totaled $69,450.00. Mary also was working at the time of this incident and has not since. Her wage loss damages are $50,000 to date. Due to Mary’s injured vertebrae, she may require a $200,000 surgery, which is equal to the amount of wage loss she will incur if the surgery is never performed.  Michael’s past billed medical expenses are $68,672.00, and his wage loss damages are $19,543.00. Here's a video of the Macharia's discussing this case:

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