Deborah Eckland and Greg Young litigated a personal-injury claim brought by an elderly diabetic woman against her apartment complex landlord. The facts of this case were unique. The plaintiff lived alone with the daily assistance of a “Personal Care Attendant” PCA. She has macular degeneration causing her to be legally blind. Her primary PCA was the plaintiff’s daughter. The PCA’s duty included “total assistance” with bathing. However, due to family conflict, the daughter stopped acting as the PCA.
While alone, the woman decided to bathe. She turned on the water to the tub and took a bath at approximately 1:00 a.m. While bathing plaintiff sustained severe and permanent 3rd degree burns covering 17% of her body. She required multiple operations and skin grafts. During one operation, plaintiff went into cardiac arrest. Plaintiff alleged negligence on the part of the apartment complex with regards to issues with the water heater and limited-stop valve on the bathtub faucet. The apartment complex argued comparative fault. The matter settled amicably within weeks of the trial date minimizing the exposure to Goetz & Eckland’s client.