• Joshua Bovender wins defense verdict in Northampton County involving a Plaintiff who fell through the Defendants’ floor.
  • May 9, 2018 | Author: Joshua J. Bovender
  • Law Firm: Thomas, Thomas & Hafer LLP - Harrisburg Office
  • Plaintiff was a tenant on a farm where he had lived with his father for over 10 years. He and his father sold the farm to Defendants in 2012, and the Defendants allowed them to continue living on the farm as tenants. After the lease ended, Plaintiff and his father failed to timely vacate the property. The farm property had several outbuildings, including an old dilapidated springhouse. Plaintiff fell through the floor of the springhouse while moving out of the property. He suffered an L3 burst fracture and underwent an instrumented fusion from L1-L5. Plaintiff sued the Defendants, alleging that Defendants knew of the dangerous condition and forced Plaintiff to encounter it by refusing to extend the deadline to vacate the property. The dangerous condition of the floor was not disputed.

    At trial, the Court allowed into evidence that Defendants were insured against personal injury, reasoning that the insurance showed Defendants’ control over the springhouse. The jury deliberated for less than 2 hours and concluded that Plaintiff’s negligence was the greater cause of his injuries. Plaintiff’s comparative negligence thus barred any recovery against the Defendants.