$6.8 Million Boston Wrongful Death Judgment Awarded Over NU Student’s Fatal Fall Down Bar Stairs

A judge has awarded the family of Jacob Freeman $6.8 million in Boston wrongful death damages. Freeman, a Northeastern University Student, died nearly four years ago after falling down a flight of stairs at Our House East, a Boston bar on Gainsborough Street.

In her Boston premises liability ruling, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Elizabeth M. Fahey noted that even though Freeman’s BAC was .208 when he fell down the stairs going to the basement in the early hours of April 1, 2007, the staircase was poorly lit, lacked a landing, possessed inadequate railings, and was hazardous in other ways. She also notes that vinyl stripes likely made it hard for Freeman to see that there was a staircase there.

Fahey says that she ordered Gainsboro Restaurant Inc. to pay damages on the grounds that not only did the bar ignore the safety hazards that the stairs presented-no repairs were made following two previous incidents of people falling there-but also for decades the bar had been violating the city’s permitting process, including never getting the permit required to run a bar.

Boston Stairwell Accidents
Fall accidents in stairwells can cause serious injuries, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, head trauma, back injuries, and neck injuries. It is the responsibility of property owners to make sure that there is proper lighting, sufficient handrails, a proper landing, and no slippery substances or objects on a step that can cause a Boston slip and fall or trip and fall accident. Also, any broken or uneven steps must be repaired.

A property owner can be held liable for a Boston fall accident down the stairs if his/her negligence/carelessness allowed or caused the injury accident to happen.

NU student’s kin awarded $6.7m, Boston.com, February 18, 2011

Related Web Resource:
Proving Fault in Accidents on Dangerous or Defective Property, Nolo

More Boston Injury Lawyer Blogs:
Boston, Massachusetts Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against MIT and Delta Upsilon Fraternity for Student’s Fatal Fall, Boston Injury Lawyer Blogs, September 28, 2010
Man Suffers Head and Neck Injuries From Fall Down Fenway Park Stairs, Boston Injury Lawyer Blogs, August 5, 2010
Massachusetts Fall Accidents in Cambridge and Brookline Claim Two Lives, Boston Injury Lawyer Blogs, May 14, 2010

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