Firm Reaches $1.2M Settlement With Negligent Apartment Complex
Chip Anderson had no idea of the danger lurking right outside his second-floor apartment. On January 3 of 2004, he stumbled and fell into the slanted breezeway area that fronted all of the apartments in the complex. When his body hit the breezeway's guardrail, both the top and bottom rail broke, causing it to swing out like a gate. Chip fell two stories onto solid concrete, landing on his head and shoulders. He sustained permanent brain, shoulder, and back injuries and was forced to resign from his position as a City of Jacksonville employee.
A claim against the Massachusetts-based complex owners and management company had already been filed and a settlement offer of $100,000 tendered when firm Attorneys Roger Dodd and Jay Howanitz were asked to handle the case. With consideration for the severity of Mr. Anderson's injuries and the impact on his career and life, they rejected this offer and began to vigorously prepare the case for trial. Investigation revealed that the railing was more than 40 years old and while it had periodically been painted for cosmetic appearances, it had never been structurally maintained or repaired. Our firm also discovered that the railing violated height and maintenance requirements in Florida building codes.
Beginning in August of 2007, Roger and Jay litigated on several fronts in Florida and Massachusetts against a large defense firm, bringing the case to conclusion in January of 2008 with a $1.2 million dollar settlement on behalf of their client Chip Anderson.