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Case Results

Construction company left opening in floor during remodeling. Owner of the house fell through the unguarded hole and died the next day from his injuries. $500,000 settlement.

Mr. and Mrs. H were having their McLean home remodeled and hired the defendant, a licensed contractor, to do the work. The renovation was an addition onto the back of the house that created an upstairs/downstairs configuration. The back extension of the old part of the home became the upstairs over the new addition. The defendant knew that the family, guests and relatives would be occupying and using the property during the construction project.   

At the time of the incident, most of the upstairs work had been completed, except that the circular stairway had not been installed. The construction company created an opening, about six feet by six feet, in the floor of the upper level for the circular stairway. Mr. H, who was in his early 50s, fell through the opening and landed on the concrete floor in the room below. He died the next day from his injuries. His medical expenses were $44,000. 

A safety expert’s opinion was that the defendant failed to secure a solid structurally-sound cover secured against movement/removal and that it failed to provide adequate guardrail/barricade protection. The fact that Mr. H had knowledge of the existence of the floor opening did not negate the defendant’s responsibility to provide adequate protection. 

The insurance company told us they would never pay a dime on the case because the owner knew the hole was there. The case settled the week before the trial was to start for $500,000.

Awarded: Settlement $500,000

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Weiner, Spivey & Miller, PLC
10605 Judicial Drive
Suite B6
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: (703) 273-9500
Fax: (703) 273-9505
Toll Free: 1-877-611-0605
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