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Archive for May, 2013

Tenant Receives a Brain Injury on Unsafe Stairs in Rental Unit

On October 31, 2009, our client, Connie Moreno, was walking down a set of stairs in the rental unit where she lived. The stairs were very steep, and the treads were so narrow Connie’s feet did not fit on them. When she reached the bottom stair, she lost her footing and fell backwards, hitting the back of her head and neck on a metal railing.

Connie did not have any cuts on the outside of her skin, so she thought she would be okay. She got up and continued with her day. Connie did not know that the fall had caused tears in her vertebral arteries and that the blood supply to her brain was partially blocked.

Over the next six weeks, Connie began having severe headaches, and she became sensitive to light and sound. She started having trouble speaking and she became easily confused by projects that used to be easy for her. She felt tired, but couldn’t get good sleep because laying down hurt her head.

Brain Injury Attorney In Tacoma

Finally, in December, Connie’s headaches were so bad that she went to the doctor in tears. She vomited and collapsed while at the doctor’s office. Connie was taken to the hospital, where imaging studies revealed the damage to her arteries and the blocked blood supply to her brain.

Connie was placed on medication to help restore proper blood flow to her brain, but permanent damage was already done. Imaging studies showed that the lack of oxygen had caused tissue in Connie’s thalamus to die, causing an “infarct” or stroke. Connie was ultimately diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and post-concussive syndrome.

Connie hired Shelly Speir to represent her in a claim against her landlords.

Our investigation revealed that the stairs where Connie fell were not up to code. They were too narrow, and the treads on the individual stairs were different sizes. This was dangerous because the size of individual stairs helps us gauge our gait when we go down stairs, and any irregularities in the stairs interrupts the gait, creating a trip hazard.

We also discovered that Connie’s landlord was a contractor. He testified that before he rented the property to Connie, he measured the stairs. He claimed they were up to code, and did nothing to fix them before he had Connie sign a lease.

Connie and Shelly mediated the case in April 2013, and a settlement of $250,000 was reached.

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Troup, Christnacht, Ladenburg, McKasy, Durkin & Speir Included in Civil Jury Instruction Handbook

TCLMDS has been included in the 2012-2013 Civil Jury Instruction Handbook, a legal publication distibuted to attorneys and law libraries state-wide.  On pages 905-923, our Gorman v. Pierce County case is described and the entire set of jury instructions is provided.

Mike McKasy and Shelly Speir tried Gorman in July 2011, and a jury awarded our client, Sue Gorman, $2.2 million dollars in damages.

TCLMDS is proud to be included in the Handbook.  Our goal is to provide our clients with the best legal representation possible, and we are honored that our work is now being used as an example for others.

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Hockey Hall of Famer

Mike McKasy is pictured here with BOBBY HULL, a Hall of Fame professional hockey player, known as “The Golden Jet.” Bobby starred for the Chicago Blackhawks and later the Winnipeg Jets. Mike, a native of Minnesota, met Bobby at a recent wedding and shared hockey stories.

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