Home shopper sues after falling through deck

By Steve Gonzalez | Feb 1, 2006

No matter how much curb appeal the house at 206 Dogwood Ave. in Fairview Heights had, it probably would not have changed the mind of home shopper James Pope.

Pope's foot and leg fell through the floor of the wooden deck while he was viewing the home for sale.

Pope filed a personal injury lawsuit against Strano & Associates and home owners Arthur and Rena Merritt in St. Clair County Circuit on Jan. 23.

He alleges that on June 3, 2005, he violently dropped through the deck floor causing permanent injuries to his neck, back, shoulders, arms and legs.

According to the complaint, Strano and the homeowners failed to properly maintain the deck, failed to make inspections for unsafe conditions, failed to make needed repairs, failed to warn him of the deck's dangerous conditions and failed to make the deck safe for intended users.

Pope claims the defendants violated Fairview Heights' municipal ordinances when they failed to maintain, repair and inspect the deck.

He claims pain and disability, medical expenses, lost wages and has suffered damages with regard to his employment and enjoyment of life.

Represented by William Kopis of Belleville, Pope is seeking damages in excess of $100,000.

06 L 42 (20th Circuit)

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