Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

$7,500 Award for Ohio Prisoner in Slip and Fall Accident

$7,500 Award for Ohio Prisoner in Slip and Fall Accident

by David Reutter

An Ohio Court of Claims awarded over $7,500 to a prisoner for injuries suffered from a slip and fall, after finding liability for negligence against the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) in a bifurcated trial.

Officials at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution held a fire drill on March 6, 2011 at approximately 10:30 p.m. They instructed all prisoners to walk down a stairwell and exit into the darkened prison yard. As prisoner Michael Roberts exited, he slipped on two exterior concrete steps that he claimed were deteriorated.

After he fell onto the sidewalk, he was examined by a prison nurse before being sent to a hospital for treatment. Roberts claimed the fall caused injuries to his neck, right shoulder and right ankle, as well as numbness on his right side.

In his lawsuit, Roberts claimed ODRC was liable for negligence for failing to properly maintain the steps; he also claimed the area was poorly lit from the perimeter lights surrounding the yard.

Upon finding ODRC liable, the court held a damages trial and ordered an award of $7,536.09 for past pain and suffering. The award was not higher because the court found that Roberts had “a significant medical history of chronic right shoulder and neck pain which preexisted the March 6, 2011 incident.” Prison officials were also required to pay a $356.54 cost bill. Roberts was represented by attorney Richard F. Swope. See: Roberts v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Ohio Court of Claims, Case No. 2011-05874.


As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Roberts v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction