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$9,000 Settles Ohio Prisoner's Trip-and-Fall Suit

On December 9, 2015, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) settled for $9,000 a lawsuit brought by a DOR prisoner who fell and injured himself.

Dale Tackett, then in his 40s, was transferred to Richland Correctional Institution on July 10, 2012. As he was being escorted across the prison yard, carrying a heavy bag containing his belongings, he tripped over a raised asphalt section about 3 inches high and 20 inches in diameter. He fell, suffering a transverse fracture of his fifth metatarsal. Due to the injury, he had to wear a boot cast for over a year and complained of chronic foot and ankle pain.

Represented by Reynoldsburg, Ohio, attorney Richard F. Swope, Tackett filed a trip-and-fall suit in state court alleging the heavy bag prevented him from looking down and the raised section was an obvious defect such that the DOR had failed in its duty to keep the sidewalk in a safe and reasonable condition.

The trial was bifurcated. During the portion of the trial on liability, the DOR was found to be 60% liable and Tackett was assessed 40% liability. Before the portion on damages began, the parties settled for $9,000.

See: Tackett v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation, OH Court of Claims, Case No. 20)3-00244.

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Related legal case

Tackett v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation