Jury returns near $2 million verdict against senior residence facility over woman’s falling death

by Charles Miller

Gene Marie Gann was an 86-year-old resident of Three Fountains Apartments in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She would take a short flight of stairs every Friday on the way to her appointment at a salon in the same building. The hand railing stopped just short of the top step. The too-short railing failed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. One day, as she got to the top, the absence of a railing caused her to lose her balance and fall backwards. The fall killed her.

Earlier this month, an Albuquerque jury ruled in favor of Gann’s family and found the fall and death were caused by the missing rail. The jury awarded $1.86 million in damages against the building owner.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson and premises liability claims

The jury did find Gann was partially at fault because she could have waited for someone to help her. As a result the company won’t have to pay a portion of the damages awarded.

To successfully pursue a premises liability lawsuit, clients need an experienced, educated attorney on their side. Heygood, Orr & Pearson is AV-rated, the highest legal and ethical rating available from the leading law firm rating service. Our partners Michael Heygood, Jim Orr, and Eric Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Heygood and Mr. Orr are additionally Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our partners been voted by their peers as “Super Lawyers” in the state of Texas for several years in a row.*

Clients also need an attorney with the financial resources to take the case to trial. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have tried literally hundreds of cases to verdict and have settled hundreds more. In 2010 alone, we negotiated settlements of personal injury and wrongful death claims totaling more than $50 million. Heygood, Orr & Pearson also has the financial resources to handle personal injury cases from beginning to end. In fact, there are many instances when we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a case in order to take it to trial. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.

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Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2013.