Stein & Shulman Secures $250,000 Settlement for Woman Injured by Hazardous Staircase

Northbrook, Illinois (Law Firm Newswire) – Stein & Shulman has obtained a $250,000 settlement for a 70-year-old woman who sustained a hip fracture when she tripped and fell due to an unsafe set of stairs. The plaintiff was meeting a friend for lunch at a restaurant, and as she walked through the parking lot toward the entrance to the restaurant, she encountered a set of three stairs that were improperly designed and maintained. The injury caused the plaintiff to undergo a total hip replacement.

Our law firm retained a liability expert who offered the following opinions regarding the makeup of the stairs in question:

  • All steps must be a certain height, and no step can differ in height from the others. Here, the first step was 6 ½ inches high, and the second step was 8 ½ inches high, which violates the International Building Code (IBC).
  • No single step should be greater than 7 inches high, and one of the three steps was 8 ½ inches high, which again violates the IBC and the Safety Code for the village where the fall occurred.
  • The steps were severely damaged and in an obvious state of disrepair. Again, the steps’ disrepair and the missing portions of the risers violate the IBC.

It was also stressed that while the height of the stairs exceeded the allowable height, it’s virtually impossible for a person walking towards the stairs to appreciate the height difference.

Through a meticulous investigation that included retaining safety experts and surveillance footage, the firm established that the system was unsafe. The insurance carriers for the property owner and property management firm shared in the settlement to resolve this matter, and the case was settled almost immediately after the lawsuit was filed.