In January of 2014, Plaintiff worked as a handyman for Defendants. Defendants owned an apartment complex near Winston-Salem, North Carolina. One of the owners directed Plaintiff on to the roof of the apartment complex with a backpack leaf blower in order to blow leaves out of the gutters. While performing the task, Plaintiff slipped and fell off the roof. He suffered a broken wrist and leg, among other injuries.

The case did not fall under the Worker’s Compensation Act because Defendants had fewer than three employees. Consequently, Plaintiff contended that Defendants were negligent for failing to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act of North Carolina in that Defendants failed to implement fall prevention systems, failed to train Plaintiff with respect to fall prevention systems, and were otherwise negligent. Defendants vigorously contested liability. Specifically, Defendants contended that Plaintiff was an “invitee” on the property. Therefore, under North Carolina law, Defendants only had a duty to warn Plaintiff of dangerous conditions known to Defendants that would not otherwise be apparent to Plaintiff. Defendants contended that the perils of working on a roof were obvious to Plaintiff and, therefore, Defendants were not negligent. Further, that Plaintiff was contributorily negligent.

In June of 2015, the Law Office of Kevin J. Williams, PLLC, along with two other firms, successfully resolved the case for Plaintiff in the amount of $207,500 at mediation despite the significant legal hurdles referenced above.

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