Daycare Cleared of Liability in Slip and Fall Case

(courtesy of the Georgia Trial Reporter)

Case Caption: Ann Marie Worcester v. Nora Christine Anderson, Colin H.
Moriarty and Ryan H. McKelvey
Case Number: SU-07-CV-1027-J
Verdict: Defense verdict
Judge: Steven C. Jones
Date of Verdict: 1/28/2009
Attorneys:
Plaintiff: David K. May, Atlanta
Defendant: John J. Lindsay, Winder
Craig C. Avery, Athens

Facts:
A mother picking her son up at daycare was injured when she slipped and fell. Plaintiff alleged the fall was caused by poor maintenance and lack of lighting.  Defendants denied liability, asserting plaintiff was fully aware of the condition of the stairs. A Clarke County jury returned a defense verdict.

Plaintiff Ann Marie Worcester arrived to pick up her infant son from Christy’s Professional Home Daycare at approximately 8:00 p.m. in October 2005. The  daycare was owned by Defendant Ryan McKelvey and operated by Defendants Nora Anderson and Colin Moriarty. Plaintiff placed her son in his car seat and  proceeded to walk down the stairs leading to the driveway. According to plaintiff, as she stepped onto the driveway, she lost her balance and fell, sustaining a fractured  metatarsal as a result of the fall.

Plaintiff alleged defendants breached their duty of care. Plaintiff claimed the stairs were not illuminated and there was no handrail to grab as she fell. She also claimed there was an unexpected drop between the bottom of the last step and the driveway due to a slope in the driveway that she could not see. Plaintiff further asserted defendants failed to warn her of the known dangerous condition and failed to inspect the premises for potential harm. Plaintiff claimed defendants also acted in bad faith during settlement negotiations which caused her unnecessary trouble and expense.

Defendant Anderson asserted plaintiff was in breach of her contract for failure to pay money due and she was, therefore, relieved of any duty. Defendant Moriarty  contended plaintiff had been advised to be careful and was informed that the light was not functioning. Defendants further claimed plaintiff had been up and down the same steps numerous times before and they maintained she was not injured to the extent claimed.

Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 52 year old female.

Alleged Injury: Metatarsal fracture of the left foot.


Editor’s Notes: Information for this summary was obtained
from another published source.
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