Defense verdict in plaintiff’s “leaky” case.
We obtained a defense verdict in a three-day jury trial in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. The 81-year-old plaintiff, who was staying at her daughter's home, alleged that she slipped and fell on water in the basement of the rental property and injured her hip. The property was owned by our clients. The plaintiff's daughter and son-in-law claimed they repeatedly complained to our clients of leaks from the ceiling in the basement, without response. They were in the midst of eviction proceedings with our clients for failure to pay rent for several months when the fall occurred. Our clients denied any knowledge of the leaking problem alleged by the tenants, though they did admit that they were aware of leaks in other areas which they attempted to fix. The jury deliberated for 2 ½ hours, had two questions, and asked for the negligence charge to be read back to them. They then returned a finding of no negligence. There was a nuisance value settlement offer made prior to trial, which was rejected.