Case Conclusion Date:April 18, 2005
Description:A painter who fell off the deck of a house and allegedly suffered multiple injuries claimed negligence by the defendant homeowners. However, after only 45 minutes of deliberation, a Danbury jury returned a defense verdict for the homeowners. Plaintiff Frederick Witte was hired by Defendants William and Edna Murphy to clean and paint the deck attached to their home. While powerwashing the deck, plaintiff fell off the deck to the ground approximately 23' below. Plaintiff alleged that defendants had negligently maintained the deck and that the deck constituted a nuisance. Plaintiff further alleged that defendants did not have a building permit for the deck. Plaintiff claimed to have suffered a fractured right clavicle and hip, fractured ribs, a punctured lung and soft tissue injuries to his shoulder, neck, low back and ankle, resulting in permanent impairment. Defendants denied liability. Defendants contended that the deck was already attached to the house when they bought it and that plaintiff was hired to maintain it for them. Defendants further contended that plaintiff’s explanation of how he fell did not make sense and that some of plaintiff’s problems were pre-existing.