Sanchez vs. Sully Miller
The 89-year old plaintiff sued Sully Miller Contracting Company after his foot fell into a whole created by Sully Miller as they worked along the street. Sully Miller dug a hole in the yard of Plaintiff’s house between the sidewalk and the curb as part of a municipal improvement project to replace water meter boxes along Plaintiff’s street. The hole was open and partially covered by a small A-frame construction sign. The project took several days to complete.
Plaintiff was injured when he accidentally stepped into the hole while attempting to retrieve something from a car that was parked along the street. Plaintiff admitted that he was aware of the presence of the hole prior to his accident but claimed that the ground next to the hole gave way when he stepped there.
Plaintiff’s construction safety expert testified that Sully Miller was negligent for failing to cover the entire hole with a solid object and for failing to provide better warnings of the danger.
The jury determined that Sully Miller was negligent but that Sully Miller’s negligence was not a substantial factor in causing Plaintiff’s injury.