The Chicago premises liability lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. recently reached a settlement on behalf of one of their clients who was injured by a falling door.
The victim was an experienced doorman at a Chicago condominium building and was working at his post when a large swinging door began to show signs of distress. The door had been serviced multiple times in the past and employees had previously made complaints about the door. All repairs were done by one company at the request of the building’s owner and manager.
The door in question was large and weighed several hundred pounds. It was a swinging door with an automatic closer that allowed residents to have the door opened remotely; the door would then automatically close after a resident entered the building. As one resident opened the door, the door came off its top hinge and was detached at the top, leaving the full weight of the door resting on the one remaining bottom pivot.
Our client followed protocol by informing the building’s engineer of the door’s condition. The building’s engineer informed our client to put the door back into its normal position to the best of our client’s ability and to wait for further assistance. Our client did as instructed and was contacting the property’s manager when another resident approached the door. Our client attempted to warn the new resident and to prevent the resident from using the door by running to warn the resident but in his effort was unsuccessful. As the resident attempted to use the door, the door came off both hinges and fell forward, striking our client in the upper leg and knee and landing on our client.
Our client suffered a torn meniscus in his knee as well as pain and discomfort in the area after the incident. He received medical treatment that included surgery and also had multiple rounds of physical therapy.
During our representation of the victim, we uncovered numerous service records indicating a long history of problems with the door at issue and many complaints regarding its functionality. We also learned that in a repair shortly before the day the door fell, a spindle of normal size was used in the automatic door closer, which is a type of gripping connector between the closer and the door. Though the use of an expert witness, it was revealed that this was an improper procedure as the door and door closer used required an extended length spindle.