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Williams v. Williams

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

March 23, 2018

STEVEN WILLIAMS
v.
MITCHELL WILLIAMS, ET AL.

         SECTION: “H” (4)

          FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

          JANE TRICHE MILAZZO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Steven Williams brings this negligence action as a result of injuries sustained while accessing the attic at the home of his brother, Defendant Mitchell Williams. Plaintiff contends that one of the rungs of the attic access ladder was broken, causing him to fall and sustain serious injuries to his right shoulder when he climbed down from the attic. Plaintiff sues Defendant Mitchell Williams and Mitchell's insurer, Defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., seeking to recover damages for past, present, and future physical and emotional suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and loss of enjoyment of life. This Court previously denied summary judgment for Defendants, finding that there existed an issue of fact as to whether Defendant Williams had constructive knowledge of the defective stairs.[1]

         At a bench trial held on October 3, 2017, the parties submitted written evidence for the Court to consider on the issues of liability and damages. Having considered the evidence admitted at trial and the arguments of counsel, this Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law. To the extent a finding of fact constitutes a conclusion of law, and vice versa, the Court adopts it as such.

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         The following facts are uncontested:[2]

         1. The subject incident occurred on February 5, 2015.

         2. Defendant Williams owned the home where the accident occurred.

         3. Defendant Williams had not been in the home at least twelve, but not more than eighteen, months prior to the incident.

         4. Defendant Williams specifically asked Plaintiff to go to the home where the incident occurred in order to retrieve an antenna belonging to Defendant Williams.

         5. At the time that Defendant Williams asked Plaintiff to access the attic to retrieve the antenna, the pull-down ladder used to reach the attic was missing the second step from the top, leaving only a bare wire in the place where the step once was.

         6. Plaintiff did as instructed by ascending the ladder into the attic without incident.

         7. Upon Plaintiff's descent from the attic, Plaintiff's foot became ensnared in the wiring across the ladder where the step was originally, which caused his arm and elbow to crash onto the frame of the attic, resulting in his shoulder injury.

         8. Defendant Williams had a homeowner's policy through Defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. ...


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