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Woman settles case over slip from stairs

Allison Retka//November 14, 2011

Woman settles case over slip from stairs

Allison Retka//November 14, 2011

A woman who fell down the stairs of a second-story apartment settled her claim with the apartment owners for $142,500 without filing a lawsuit.

On Aug. 26, 2010, Irene Porter was visiting her granddaughter at her son’s apartment in Trenton. As she left that evening, she slipped and fell down the exterior stairs of the apartment building. No one witnessed the fall. Porter suffered a concussion and couldn’t remember what happened.

She also suffered internal bleeding in her skull, and rib and facial fractures. Her medical bills topped $400,000, in excess of the apartment owners’ $300,000 policy from Shelter Insurance, said John L. Young, Porter’s attorney.

“We do not know what happened,” Young said. “She was found at the bottom of the steps basically with her head busted open.”

Porter blamed the fall on the lack of exterior lighting on the building and the absence of a guardrail on the steep wooden steps.

Young said Shelter Insurance likely assigned some fault to Porter when deciding on a settlement offer. He said he negotiated Porter’s MO HealthNet lien down from about $84,000 to $55,000.

Brent Marcks, a claims adjustor for Shelter, confirmed the settlement amount but said he couldn’t comment further. No defense attorney was involved in the case.

■  $142,500 settlement

Premises liability

■ Venue: Gundy County Circuit Court

■ Case Number/Date: Not filed/Sept. 2, 2011

■ Special Damages: MO HealthNet lien of $84,000; total medical bills exceeded $415,000

■ Insurer: Shelter Insurance

■ Caption: Irene B. Porter and William Clark Porter v. Ronnie Rose and Okinawa Rose

■ Plaintiff’s Attorney: John L. Young, Princeton

■ Defendant’s Attorney: None

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