Jury Returns a Defense Verdict in H+A Slip and Fall Case



Biomechanical analysis from Hayes+Associates, Inc., helped convince a jury last fall that a plaintiff’s allegations of negligence against the City of Molalla, Ore., were not supported by the evidence. The plaintiff had alleged that, due to a sandy material that she said had covered a road in her Molalla neighborhood, she had slipped when walking on the street and had fallen backward, twisting her knee and hitting her head on the ground. She alleged that the material had been left behind after a city contractor completed a water-line replacement. 

Relying on a fall reconstruction by Kristen E. Lipscomb, Ph.D., H+A biomechanical engineer and testimony by Wilson C. “Toby” Hayes, Ph.D., H+A President, the jury concluded that the plaintiff’s injuries were more consistent with a misstep up on the curb than with a slip of her right foot on the street. Her fall was therefore unlikely related to any sandy material she alleged had been in the roadway. 

After five days of testimony, the jury in this civil suit returned a defense verdict, having found that the  City and the contractor were not negligent and that instead the plaintiff was responsible for her own  injuries. The defense legal team was led by Shayna Eagle and Daniel Hasson, both attorneys with the Portland firm of Davis Rothwell Earle & Xochihua.