According to a report published in The Key West Citizen (9/1/15), 28-year-old Jendry Castell and Maria Arrellano, 23, were visiting Old Town in Key West and were staying at a facility known as Casa 325. On August 15 of this year, they were walking down the second-floor staircase when it suddenly collapsed beneath them, sending the two crashing to the floor below. Both tourists sustained serious injuries and spent six days at Lower Keys Medical Center before returning to their home base of Miami, where treatment is ongoing.
It has been reported that Castell suffered multiple broken bones in his legs, as well as head, neck and back injuries. Arrellano broke an ankle and a leg, and also suffered head, neck and back injuries.
Both are seeking neck injury compensation in their claim against Casa 325 and its owner, identified as Georgeann Favelli. The insurance company involved in underwriting the liability of Casa 325 and insuring the premises, Century Insurance, has so far denied any liability in the collapse. So far, the insurance company has not been named in the lawsuit but is expected to be part of the back injury compensation claim, according to reports.
The lawsuit was filed in Florida state court with the help of a neck injury lawyer. Both the defendant and the plaintiffs have elected a trial by jury, although there is speculation the matter will be resolved through mediation, which is common for premises liability claims.
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While broken bones generally heal well when relatively young people are injured, such injuries to the neck and back can be especially problematic considering the various associations and connections other parts of the body have to the neck and back. Yet to be determined is the impact of such injuries to current and future income earning potential, the impact to career and lifestyle, and the potential for ongoing pain and suffering.
It is not known, in the back injury lawsuit, if the staircase had been the focus of any concern prior to the collapse. However, the defendant has been accused of failing to adequately maintain the property in the back and neck injury claim. Case information was not available at press time.