Slip and Fall - Martha Ross and Andy Ross v. Copeland’s of New Orleans, Inc., et al.

Ms. Theard and Mr. Glas successfully defended a well-known restaurant in a slip & fall case which resulted in a defense verdict. The 80-year-old plaintiff fell while walking down a step from the gazebo area of the restaurant in Shreveport, Louisiana. The plaintiff claimed that as a result of the fall, she broke her nose, bruised her knees and aggravated a prior back problem. It was further alleged that the plaintiff’s “overall health and well-being deteriorated significantly in great part as a result of her injuries.” In a judge trial held on May 17, 2011, Ms. Theard and Mr. Glas were able to successfully argue that the one step down was not an unreasonably dangerous condition due to the fact that (1) the construction of the step satisfied the code requirements in effect at the time of construction, and (2) the step was sufficiently noticeable due to a handrail on the right side of the step, a contrasting floor pattern between the two levels, and adequate lighting augmented by natural light. Despite the sympathetic nature of the plaintiff, a turning point of the trial was during cross-examination of the plaintiff, when she finally admitted on the stand that she did not know what caused her to fall. The Court ultimately decided that the plaintiff failed to satisfy their burden to show that the restaurant was liable for the plaintiff’s fall, and as a result the Court dismissed the case at the plaintiff’s cost with prejudice.
Martha Ross and Andy Ross v. Copeland’s of New Orleans, Inc., et al., No. 526,060, Section C, 1st JDC, Caddo Parish, Louisiana.