$3.6M Verdict: Animated Fall Through Bedroom Window

Thomas Feher, Esq., The Simon Law Group, Los Angeles, CA

Waiting on your building’s management to fix an issue can be painful - especially when that issue poses a dangerous safety risk that results in a three-story fall through your bedroom window.

Thomas Feher of The Simon Law Group needed to show why a building’s management company was liable for a young woman’s injuries because it was fully aware that her apartment’s low window design posed a dangerous risk, and it knowingly neglected the issue to the degree that it even removed protective bars installed by the previous tenant.

He needed to demonstrate:

  • How the young woman stumbled through the window.
  • How easily and inexpensively the building management could have prevented this fall.
  • How the building management physically removed protective safety bars that would have prevented this fall.
  • The illustrated damages suffered as a result of the building management’s negligence.

Mr. Feher was able to secure a $3.6M verdict using the following animations and illustrations.

Establishing the Level of Danger

Mr. Feher first needed to establish the level of danger posed by the window design, and the level of ease with which the young woman stumbled through. They reinforced this using testimony from the previous tenant below, who also feared for her safety the entire time she lived in the apartment.

Trip-Slip-Stumble Scenario

When I moved into [the apartment] I noticed all the window sills were very low. They were difficult to close and didn't have window screens. The windows gave me concern for my own safety, as well as the safety of roommates and guests who came to my apartment.
Previous Tenant's Testimony

No Preventative Measures

The previous tenant reported her concerns to the building management, but they fell on deaf ears. It would have been very easy to address the danger. For example, these simple, inexpensive window restrictors could have been purchased at any nearby hardware store, which would have prevented the window from opening - but the building’s management neglected to do anything about it.

Scenario with window restrictor

I told [the building manager] that I was concerned about the low windows, especially since my daughter was starting to walk and I didn't want her (or anyone else) falling out of them. I also was very aware that the management company had repeatedly refused to take care of the most minor repairs and were extremely slow to replace old appliances.
Previous Tenant's Testimony

Egregious Disregard for Safety

When it became clear that the building’s management would not address the danger, the previous tenant and her husband took matters into their own hands by installing protective rails to stop people from falling through the window. But not only did the building’s management ignore the danger; they physically removed the safety precaution installed by the previous tenant - showing egregious disregard for tenant safety.

Scenario with protective bars

My husband and I determined that the only way to create a safe environment for our daughter was to pay for the installation of window guard rails and protective devices ourselves... The protective bars were screwed into the walls, and remained on the windows until I moved out of the building.
Previous Tenant's Testimony

Mechanism of injury

Thomas Feher, Esq., The Simon Law Group, Los Angeles, CA
The animations caught the defense off guard during expert discovery forcing them to scramble and produce an animation that the court excluded.
Thomas Feher, Esq., The Simon Law Group, Los Angeles, CA

Summarizing Damages

This first illustration summarizes the victim’s long list of injuries, which included a fractured sternum, spine, wrist, and sacrum. Visualizing the full depth and magnitude of numerous catastrophic injuries helped jurors understand the totality of the woman’s suffering, anchored with a visual they would remember when considering damages.

Thomas Feher, Esq., The Simon Law Group, Los Angeles, CA
Whenever I have a client who undergoes a surgical procedure, I like to use High Impact’s illustrations during direct examination of our treating doctors and retained medical experts because it gives the jury an opportunity to absorb complicated medical information audibly and visually. I used them in this case and it made for a smooth presentation.
Thomas Feher, Esq., The Simon Law Group, Los Angeles, CA

Step-by-Step Spinal Surgery

Illustrating Wrist Repairs

The last two exhibits illustrate the surgeries needed to address radius fractures in both wrists.

They each conclude with post-op x-ray scans, colorized to emphasize the cold hardware the victim will carry in her wrists for the rest of her life. Illustration helps emphasize that reality.

High Impact’s team of visual strategists, artists and developers can build and customize your digital presentation for any case involving personal injury, medical malpractice, birth trauma - or any subject involving complex information.

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