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Jury Awards Nearly $800,000 in Santa Barbara Premises Liability Case

By Renee Nordstrand on September 16, 2013

In March of this year, Reneé J. Nordstrand helped a client gain a favorable jury verdict in a case in which the client was harmed in a trip-and-fall accident. The woman tripped over a raised brick adjacent to an inadequately lit walkway in a Santa Barbara apartment complex. As a result, the woman fell and broke her left hip.

The fall and injury resulted in severe medical consequences for the client, who suffered four hip dislocations during the course of recovery and had to undergo three hip surgeries, including a partial hip replacement.

Ms. Nordstrand contended — and was able to prove — that the property owners had violated several building codes. That led the jury to conclude that those violations had most likely contributed directly to the woman’s fall and injury. The jury consequently awarded the client a total of $794,380.61. The award was reduced by 74% because the jury found that the client was under the influence of narcotic medications at the time of the fall.

During the course of the trial, Ms. Nordstrand was able to prove the following:

  1. The property owners and the management company had violated Uniform Building Code Section 3312(a). She was able to show that the exit where the fall had occurred had been improperly illuminated. The code states that, “exits shall be illuminated with an illumination level of not less than one foot candle.”
  2. That one or both of the defendants violated Uniform Building Code Section 3306(d), which states “a ramp with a slope exceeding one foot in ten shall have handrails as required for stairways.”
  3. That one or both defendants violated Uniform Building Code Section 3305(g), which says that stairways (as defined by UBC 3306(d) “shall have handrails on each side.”

If you have been injured due to a property owner’s negligence, you have a legal right to seek compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, and other damages. These are complicated cases. You need a skilled legal advocate on your side that understands premises liability issues and has the experience to get you the compensation you deserve.

Do you think you have a case? Call the Law Office of Renée J. Nordstrand at our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022 or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530. Or simply contact us online. You case review will be free and confidential.

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