Mark Zimmerman, 44, lived in a three-story building with a deck attached to an exterior stairwell. As Zimmerman was leaving for work one day, he bent over to pick something up while holding onto the deck railing. The railing collapsed and Zimmerman fell three stories to the ground. He sustained multiple fractures to his right ankle, as well as lumbar fractures of L-2 and L-4.
Zimmerman underwent two ankle surgeries and spinal fusion surgery 15 months after the accident. His medical bills were approximately $401,700. Before his fall, Zimmerman worked as a school janitor. He has still not returned to work since the incident.
In a lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Zimmerman sued the owner of the building and its management company. He alleged premises liability because of the defective failing, saying that it was unsafe and caused his injuries.
The defendants argued that the injuries Zimmerman suffered were from a pre-existing condition.
Before trial, the parties settled for about $905,000.
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