Slip and Fall Lawyer Wins $22M Settlement for Brain Injury Victim Who Fell Through a Defective Second-Floor Bar Railing
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on August 1st, 2020
A $22 million settlement is being paid to the family of a young woman who suffered catastrophic brain injuries when she fell from the second-floor of a bar due to a defective railing that gave way beneath her.
The victim, Megan Keefe, was 20 years old when she was with friends in the former Spirit’s Bar in Cleveland’s Warehouse District on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017 and suddenly vanished from the group, according to a July 14 story by Cleveland.com in partnership with The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer newspaper.
Keefe, who was a nursing student at the time of the incident, was dancing with a friend near a second-floor balcony railing “when the friend said she briefly turned her back to Keefe, and when she turned around Keefe was gone,” the story reported.
“Customers on the bar’s first floor said that they looked up after Keefe fell and saw a panel in the middle of the railings had swung open directly above where she struck the granite counter and then landed on the floor,” according to the story. A bartender then dragged the woman’s limp body outside to the street, while other bar employees wiped her blood from the floor and reattached the swinging railing panel on the second floor, the story reported.
“None of the bar’s employees or owners told police investigating Keefe’s fall about the panel swinging open, a sergeant said in a sworn deposition,” the report continued. “A Cleveland Fire Department battalion chief who responded that afternoon to inspect the area where Keefe fell said an employee came up to him and told him about the panel, and that several panels on the railing had a history of swinging open.”
The actions by the bar employees who cleaned up the victim’s blood and placed the swinging panel back into place before police arrived amounted to a cover-up of the tragedy, according to the victim’s lawyers.
Keefe’s fall from the second floor caused massive head injuries from striking the granite counter as she tumbled, the story said. In addition to a traumatic brain injury, she was in a coma for an extended period and had bleeding on her brain. Her injuries required intubation and time on a ventilator, according to court documents. She was later diagnosed with a seizure disorder caused by the fall. She also had a stroke, is anemic and requires regular blood transfusions, the story reported. After the incident she was placed in a nursing home for care and now lives in her family’s house again after it was modified so they could provide the 24-hour care she requires since the fall.
In a lawsuit filed in June 2017, Keefe’s family sued the bar, the building’s owner, WD Downtown, and the property manager, Dalad Realty. The bar has since closed.
An investigation of the incident by attorneys for the Keefe family found that the bar never had or applied for an occupancy permit, the story reported. A restaurant that was previously in the location had an occupancy permit which “expressly said that the bar was to not allow anyone upstairs due to the unsafe railing,” the report continued.
Dalad Realty paid $20 million of the settlement, while the former bar and the property manager each paid $1 million to the family.
Legal cases like this one occur around the nation every day and are examples of similar kinds of slip and fall accident cases that MyPhillyLawyer attorneys regularly work on tirelessly for our own clients. Often, we are not able to discuss the cases we are actively working on due to confidentiality requirements, so we discuss other relevant cases in the news such as this one to illustrate the legal situations people find themselves in every day.
When you need a slip and fall attorney, we here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in any kind of slip and fall, workplace injury, wrongful death or car crash in Philadelphia or anywhere in the United States. We pledge to make sure that you and your family get the compassionate, dogged and experienced legal representation that you deserve and expect from a professional legal team which works hard to uncover every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.
We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.
Talk to a Philadelphia slip and fall attorney at MyPhillyLawyer by calling 215-914-5471 or toll-free at 1-(866) 352-4572 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.
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