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Man injured chair collapses wins $2.2 million in compensation

Every year throughout the country thousands of people are injured in accidents on other people's property. After such an accident a victim often immediately thinks of the injury they have suffered and how to pay for the likely expensive medical treatment to recover. Victims should also think about obtaining legal representation to help them recover from a potentially negligent landowner.

In an interesting example of this, a would-be client went to a personal injury law firm looking for legal representation. But after the man was injured when the chair he was sitting in at the law firm collapsed he sought damages against the law firm for the injuries that he suffered from the chair.

The man took the premises liability case to court and won a $2.2 million jury verdict. The law firm was liable for one-third of the man's total damages award and the retailer that sold the chair was liable for two-thirds. Later an appellate court reversed the verdict, finding that causation had not been established, but just recently the Florida Supreme Court reversed the appellate court and reinstated what it called a "substantial" verdict against the firm.

An expert for the man stated at trial that had the law firm inspected the chair they would have noticed a "weak joint" that caused the collapse. He argued this should be standard procedure for any and all businesses to test chairs every six months.

As Maryland residents know, proving fault in personal injury cases such as this lawsuit can be challenging. In general, an accident may occur because a business failed to properly repair a dangerous condition or failed to take clear steps to warn customers of a dangerous property condition, but the issues at stake are often complex. As a consequence, victims should work with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Source: ABA Journal, "Ex-client in $2.2M law firm chair-collapse case wins reinstatement of 'substantial' verdict," Martha Neil, Oct. 24, 2013

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