Defective Ramp Collapse
Our client Evelyn, a woman in her mid 50’s, rented a home in Whittier, California. When she moved in, the landlord had a carpet company install a ramp at the back door that led to the backyard. The carpet company installed a make-shift wood ramp on top of concrete steps.
One day, while walking down the ramp in the early morning to get to the laundry room in the backyard, the ramp gave way. The two pieces of plywood that formed the base of the ramp separated. Evelyn’s foot went through and she fell forward. As she fell forward down the ramp, her foot remained trapped between the two pieces of plywood. Her ankle snapped.
She suffered a fracture of the fibula and tibia. She underwent a surgery at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital. The surgeon performed an open reduction internal fixation surgery of the ankle. He put in a plate and screws to secure the ankle.
We hired an expert in mechanical engineering to evaluate the design of the ramp. Part of the ramp had been discarded. So, we did an inspection of the property and the remaining pieces of ramp. Our engineer determined that carpet company constructed a defective ramp. We also retained an orthopedic surgeon and a pain management specialist to help evaluate what care Evelyn would need in the future to continue to treat the ankle.
The carpet company paid $450,000 to resolve the case prior to trial.