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Jay O’Brien and Landon Crider Obtain Defense Verdict in Premise Liability Case

July 7, 2021

Jay O’Brien and Landon Crider obtained a defense verdict in a premises liability case on behalf of their client, the owner of a fitness center in Lake Oconee.  Plaintiff was at the fitness center for a silver sneakers exercise class and fell after her toe struck the edge of a rubber mat.  When Plaintiff fell her body was thrown forward into a weight rack, which caused her elbow to shatter. Plaintiff’s expert testified at trial that the flooring was not to industry standards because the rubber mat had a raised edge of ¾ of an inch and lacked a transition between the concrete floor and rubber mat.  He testified that a warning should have been provided to Plaintiff and other invitees.  While Plaintiff had walked over the same area previously, Jay and Landon had to deal with the issue of a prior fall in the same exact same area approximately six months before Plaintiff fell.  The evidence presented to the jury was that the fitness center attempted to make repairs after the first fall, but no changes had actually been made to the floor between the time of the two incidents, and no warnings were provided.  Plaintiff argued that this constituted gross negligence by the fitness center.  Despite these adverse facts, Jay and Landon were able to convince the jury that Plaintiff had knowledge of the alleged hazard, and therefore, regardless of any prior incidents or issues related to industry standards, she was not entitled to recover.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendant.  Plaintiff’s last demand prior to trial was $375,000.00.

For informational purposes only. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in future cases.