In November of 2014, Tommie Buchanon suffered a devastating spinal cord injury while he was visiting his cousin at an apartment complex in Hartford, Connecticut. The incident occurred when he was on a stairwell and came upon construction debris that had been left on a stairway. Buchanon “slipped and fell backward on the debris on the stairs. He stood up and attempted to grab the railing, but there was a curve in the railing that put the railing right up against the wall where he could not grasp it.”
Buchanon fell twelve steps, striking his forehead and left the shoulder and causing a spinal cord injury to his neck. Making matters worse was the fact he laid where he had fallen for an agonizing eight hours until finally being discovered at two o’clock in the morning by another resident. He was transported to the hospital, but physicians there were unable to repair the injury to his neck.
Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit Cites Property Manager, Owner, and Contractor
The three defendants in the case, the property manager, the property owner and the contractor that had left the debris on the stairwell, all attempted to lay the blame for Buchanon’s spinal cord injury on him. They accused him of having been drunk at the time of the fall, as well as of failing to keep a proper lookout, not watching where he was walking, and wearing improper footwear.
Each of these arguments was defeated in separate mediation sessions, with Mr. Buchanon’s attorney stating,“The toxicologist retained by us said that his blood alcohol levels were so low that it could not be calculated at a reasonable degree of accuracy what his blood alcohol level was when he fell.” Eventually Mr. Buchanon agreed to a $1.2 million settlement, which will pay his past medical expenses and a portion of his future life-care costs, which are expected to be between $2 million and $3 million.