United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
TRICHE MILAZZO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
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.
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.
following facts are uncontested:
subject incident occurred on February 5, 2015.
Defendant Williams owned the home where the accident
Defendant Williams had not been in the home at least twelve,
but not more than eighteen, months prior to the incident.
Defendant Williams specifically asked Plaintiff to go to the
home where the incident occurred in order to retrieve an
antenna belonging to Defendant Williams.
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
Plaintiff did as instructed by ascending the ladder into the
attic without incident.
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
Defendant Williams had a homeowner's policy through
Defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. ...