Taylor v. Wilt

Defense Verdict

Date of Verdict: Oct. 25.

Court and Case No.: U.S. District Court, E.D. Pa.

Judge: Denis P. Cohen.

Type of Action: Premises liability, slip-and-fall.

Injuries: Leg, knee injuries.

Plaintiffs Counsel:

Earl D. Raynor Jr., Law Office of Earl D. Raynor Jr., Philadelphia.

Plaintiffs Expert:

David Nazarian, orthopedic surgery; Philadelphia.

Defense Counsel: 

Alphonso H. Ibrahim, Styliades, Mezzanotte & Hasson; Philadelphia.

Defense Expert: 

Noubar Didizian, orthopedic surgery; Bala Cynwyd.

Comment:

On June 1, 2014, plaintiff MacDonald Taylor, a maintenance worker in his late 30s, tripped and fell at his residence, at 513 Broadview Road, in Upper Darby. He had rented the property from Ray and Jeanine Wilt since August 2012.

According to Taylor, he had been walking up the patio steps when he tripped, injuring his right ankle and right knee.

Taylor sued the Wilts, alleging that they allowed a dangerous condition to exist on their property.

Counsel for Taylor specifically asserted that if there had been a safety railing, they would have braced his fall. Moreover, the Wilts had violated property and building codes by not having a railing by the patio steps.

The Wilts contended that a railing was not necessary, and that Taylor had no prior incident during his time living at the property.

According to the Wilts, Taylor, at the time of the accident, owed approximately $15,000 in rent arrears. He was served with an eviction notice in September 2014.

Following the accident, Taylor rested and iced his right knee and ankle. The next day, he presented to an emergency room, where he was diagnosed with a sprained ankle.

On June 5, Taylor presented to a foot and ankle facility, and he was diagnosed with right-ankle sprain and a ligament rupture, and his leg was placed in an air cast. For the next two months, Taylor wore the cast, remained non-weight-bearing, with limited walking. An MRI showed a closed fracture of the talus bone.

In October, Taylor presented to an orthopedic surgeon with continuing right-knee complaints, and he was diagnosed with an internal derangement of the right knee. He was given a cortisone injection, and in November he had an MRI arthrogram on his knee.

Taylor further claimed that he suffered headaches from the accident. He consulted with a neurologist and a neurosurgeon, who prescribed headache medication. An MRI showed cervical spondylitis, which was determined to be the source of his headaches, and which later subsided. At the time of trial, Taylor continued to consult with a podiatrist.

On June 21, 2014, Taylor was fired from his job, due to his inability to work. His annual salary was $90,000. Taylor testified that he is unable to work because of his ongoing knee and ankle issues. He no longer was able to play and run with his children and is generally not active. He sought damages for past and future pain and suffering.

Taylor’s orthopedic surgeon causally related his injuries and treatment to the accident.

The Wilts’ expert in orthopedic surgery, who examined Taylor, determined that he suffered no injuries from the accident. The expert reviewed Taylor’s radiographic imaging and concluded that there was no evidence of traumatic injuries.

The jury found that the Wilts were not negligent.

 

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs counsel and on court documents. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s calls for comment.