Plaintiff claimed that while exiting a New Jersey Shore rental building owned by Eamon Merrigan’s client, she fell from off the side of a flight of exterior stairs due to the lack of a guardrail. Upon falling, she fell to the concrete walkway below and suffered a displaced comminuted ankle fracture requiring two surgical repairs with the placement of permanent hardware.
During Mr. Merrigan’s cross-examination, Plaintiff’s liability expert retreated from his previously stated opinions and conceded that he did not know what codes applied to the stairs, and as a result, further conceded that the stairs likely complied with any applicable codes. On behalf of his client, Mr. Merrigan presented the testimony of a structural engineer who opined that the stairs not only complied with any applicable codes and regulations, but that in some respects, they actually exceeded what was required. Mr. Merrigan then argued that his client went “above and beyond” when considering the safety of his tenants. The jury concurred, entering a verdict of no negligence in favor of the Defendant.
Prior to trial, settlement negotiations halted upon Plaintiff’s refusal to accept anything less than $600,000.