Michael Hess was awarded $10.3 million following successful settlement negotiations by his attorney, Raymond Gill, Jr. Mr. Hess suffered serious injuries, including three fractured vertebrae, a dislocated shoulder, nerve damage, hearing loss, and a closed head injury when he hit his head on the cement. His fractured vertebra required metal plates to be surgically implanted to help stabilize his spine, and his shoulder dislocation also required surgery. Mr. Hess injured his nerves while using the crutches during the recovery from his surgeries.
All of these unfortunate injuries resulted from an improperly maintained railing at a shopping center owned by Paragano Properties. Mr. Hess was leaning against a railing on an elevated walkway at the Echo Plaza when the railing gave way causing him to fall approximately 4 feet. It was discovered during the lawsuit the railing Mr. Hess was leaning against had been repaired the day before. The railing was not repaired properly, as it was only held together with wire after being “fixed,” and there were no warning signs on the railing.
This unfortunate incident could have been avoided had the repair work been done properly or if a simple warning sign was posted on the railing. Thankfully Mr. Hess was advised by an attorney and was able to receive a fair and reasonable settlement for his injuries. Before anyone jumps on and says this was a ridiculous settlement, please remember both sides were represented by attorneys and the defendants agreed to settle the claim for this amount.