Western PA Defense Verdict – Missing Handrail, Lacerated Kidney Injury – Nine Minute Deliberation

Our partner, Mike Lang, defended the interests of homeowners alleged to have neglected to erect a railing on their entrance porch at their home of 37 years. The mail delivery plaintiff placed envelopes in the mailbox, then placed a box on the porch by the defendants’ front door, as it wouldn’t fit in the mailbox. As plaintiff stood up, he pivoted to his left, fell off the porch, and sustained a lacerated kidney requiring a five day hospitalization. Plaintiff contended as an invitee, he was owed a high duty of care and that Mike’s clients breached that duty by not having a railing on the right side of the porch where the mail slot was located (there was a railing on the left). Mike presented evidence confirming the local building code did not require a railing and argued the accident was completely a result of the plaintiff’s own carelessness. The jury of nine women and three men agreed and returned a defense verdict in less than nine minutes.