A prospective client recently came to the offices of Dwyer Williams Dretke PC for legal advice and representation following an accident at a hardware store in Bend, Oregon. This man had been perusing an aisle in the store’s gardening section when several large bags containing gardening rocks fell on him from their perch atop a tall and precariously-balanced stack. Each bag of rocks weighed approximately fifty pounds and this customer was struck all along his left side, leaving him with serious injuries to the arm, elbow, and forearm which eventually required surgery. The hardware store refused to accept liability for this incident, forcing the injured customer to subsidize his own medical treatment for the injuries that he incurred during this accident. Dwyer Williams Dretke PC is an experienced personal injury law firm in Oregon whose attorneys have extensive knowledge of premises liability. We were happy to take this case.
Our client sustained significant injuries to his left arm. Surgery was required on his left distal bicep tendon and the impact of the falling rocks left our client with residual nerve damage and numbness in the forearm. After collecting our client’s medical records following the accident and getting physician testimony confirming that our client’s injuries were accident-related, we filed suit against the hardware store on behalf of our injured client.
Almost immediately after we contacted the hardware store, its upper management expressed interested in reaching a settlement. The hardware store recognized that it had little chance of evading legal liability for the incident given its details. Premises liability is that branch of tort law concerning accidents that occur on private property. In our client’s case, the accident was both avoidable and foreseeable. The rocks that tumbled down on our client from the top of the stack were under the control of the hardware store at the time when they were stacked as well as when they fell, which implies negligence by the hardware store in maintaining safety on its premises.
Our client’s injuries would not have occurred if the bags of rocks had been properly kept in the hardware store. Our expert analysis of the incident and the legal presentation to the hardware store convinced them to settle after several rounds of negotiation. Our client was quite pleased with the settlement that he received: in addition to recuperating his out-of-pocket medical expenses, he was generously compensated for the pain and suffering that he endured during and after this avoidable accident.