Building codes were a key focus in a recent court case where a judge awarded $1.86 million to the estate of a senior who died after suffering a fall.
Gene Marie Gann was an 86-year-old resident at Albuquerque’s Paloma Landing retirement community who died four days after losing her balance climbing up the stairs to the beauty parlor at Three Fountains Casa Ltd., a senior living community, ABQ Journal reports.
Climbing the four steps with her walker, Gann lost her balance after reaching the landing, where the railing stopped a full foot short before it, according to Gann’s 96-year-old companion who witnessed the incident.
The defense took the position that the only negligence was on the part of Gann or the beauty shop owner, who was not around to greet the 86-year-old at the top of the stairs as she usually did.
This month, a jury awarded Gann’s estate $1.86 million, finding Gann 18% at fault, and Jamboree Management and Three Fountains liable for the rest, citing the building manager could have easily prevented the incident had the proper architectural renovations been in place, as they are required under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Written by Jason Oliva