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The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Your trusted legal advisors since 1976

Jury Returns $20M Verdict After Wall Collapses on 15-Year-Old


A young man who was walking home from school was seriously injured when an unreinforced masonry wall collapsed on top of him. The verdict was delivered against two construction companies that were overseeing the project. In 2015, the 15-year-old was walking home from school when he chanced upon the unreinforced wall that was separating a construction site from the sidewalk. The wall was struck by a piece of construction equipment and collapsed. The 15-year-old was struck by falling cinder blocks and buried under the rubble. The young man sustained serious injuries in the accident. These included damage to his left knee and permanent scarring which has impacted his life over the past several years.

The lawsuit was filed under a theory of premises liability. The construction companies that operated at the site had a duty of care to ensure that the public was safe. They failed in this duty of care and a member of the public was injured because of their failure. A jury saw fit to award the young man $20 million because of his permanent injuries.

Analyzing premises liability lawsuits

 Premises liability lawsuits are filed under a theory of negligence. Those who control our premises have a duty of care to ensure individuals on or near the premises are safe. In these cases, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant is negligent by proving that the accident that led to their injury was foreseeable. In the case mentioned above, the construction companies caused the dangerous condition to come into place by failing to safeguard the premises against injury. The boy was injured simply as a passerby who happened to walk past the dividing wall at the worst possible time. A piece of construction equipment struck the wall causing it to collapse on top of the plaintiff. A jury found that the construction companies were liable for failing to reinforce the dividing wall, and for whatever happened that caused the dividing wall to collapse.

Premises liability lawsuits are filed on one of three theories. The first theory is that the premises operator knew about and failed to remedy an unsafe condition, and someone was injured. The second theory is that the premises owner didn’t know, but had ordinary care been rendered, would have known that the premises were unsafe. Lastly, if a premises operator creates an unsafe condition, they can be held liable for injuries suffered by a plaintiff. In the case mentioned above, the construction companies were faulted for creating an unsafe condition that endangered the public.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Premises Liability Attorney Today 

Premises liability lawsuits can be challenging to win. You need an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney who is willing to take the case before a jury to stand a chance. The Matassini Law Firm has helped hundreds of Tampa, FL clients file premises liability lawsuits against negligent owners. Call today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing your lawsuit immediately.


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