PREMISES LIABILITY - Negligent Maintenance - $390,000 RECOVERY

Negligent maintenance of heavy fire door at church housing Head Start program -Door slams shut on back of plaintiff's heel - Ruptured Achilles' tendon injury to adjacent nerve - Severe pain until recuperation from surgery - Permanent numbness and difficulties walking - Inability to continue working as a nurse.

Monmouth County

The female plaintiff nurse, age 48 at the time, who was providing services for the Head Start program which leased the premises from the defendant church, contended that a heavy metal door was dangerous because the slowing mechanism was malfunctioning, resulting in the door slamming shut on the back of the plaintiff's foot. The plaintiff contended that the bottom of the door, which was several inches above the ground, contained a sharp edge, resulting in the edge reaching deep into the tissues.

The plaintiff maintained through several co-workers that the difficulties with the door had been evident for sometime and that complaints had been made to the landlord. The plaintiff maintained that she suffered a full rupture of the Achilles' tendon and an avulsion injury to the sural nerve which runs in the area. The plaintiff contended that the injury was very painful and the recuperation from repair surgery difficult. The plaintiff maintained that she will permanently suffer numbness and difficulties walking and has been unable to continue as a nurse. The plaintiff indicated that she has obtained office work in a realtor's office earning much less than previously commanded. The case settled prior to trial for $390,000.


Sarro vs. Mt. Pisgah Baptist Temple, et al. Docket no. L-5672-96; 9-99.

Attorney for plaintiff: Douglas B. Hanna of Hanna & Anderson in Wall.