Saturday, July 18, 2020

20-year old girl who fell off a bar building due to a faulty railing is awarded $22million

The family of a young woman who suffered catastrophic and permanent brain damage after falling through a faulty second-floor railing at a Cleveland bar three years ago have reached a $22million settlement with the proprietors of the now-defunct business and the owners of the building.

Megan Keefe was a 20-year-old nursing student when she plummeted from a balcony at Spirits Bar on West 6th Street on St Patrick's Day in 2017.

She landed head first onto a granite countertop 15 feet below, suffering severe injuries to her head and face that have left her in need of around-the-clock care, according to the lawsuit that her parents filed on her behalf four months later.

The lawsuit claimed that the bar owners knew that the balcony railing was broken but did nothing to protect their patrons, and that after Keefe's accident they tried to cover up her fall.

It has now emerged that in April of this year, the owners of the shuttered bar, the building’s owner WD Downtown and the property manager Dalad Realty reached a settlement with the plaintiffs.

The property manager agreed to pay $20million, and the two other defendants agreed to pay $1million each, reports

About a third of the total settlement sum, or more than $8million, will go into a fund to cover Keefe's medical expenses, while her mother and father will each get $2million.

More than $8million will go to the family's half-dozen lawyers.

Keefe had been drinking underage at Spirits Bar on March 17, 2017, after the St Patrick's Day parade.

At around 2.30pm, the nursing student took a fall while dancing with friends on the second-story balcony. She suffered a brain bleed and a fractured skull, vertebrae, and eye socket, but staff ignored her need for medical attention and dragged her outside, aggravating her injuries, the lawsuit stated.

Video from inside the bar showed an employee removing her from the bar, while onlookers questioned his actions, saying she needed an ambulance.

Keefe was laid out on the sidewalk in front of the bar before emergency responders arrived and took her to the hospital in critical condition, the lawsuit stated.

Her parents' attorney Craig Bashein called the dragging 'unreasonable and negligent', adding that it 'caused an aggravation and/or worsening of Megan's already catastrophic fall-related injuries....'

Court records described alleged efforts by bar staff to conceal the accident by wiping away Keefe's blood and quickly repairing the broken railing before police and a fire investigator arrived.

The fire chief said in a deposition that he was told by a bar employee that a manager had put the broken railing panel into place, reported Fox 8.

According to court records, Keefe for a while remained in a coma. She has been diagnosed with a seizure disorder and suffered a stroke. Three years and multiple blood transfusions after the accident, she cannot perform basic everyday tasks on her own and requires constant care. She is not expected to ever fully recover from her injuries.

After Keefe's fall, the bar was cited for serving liquor to an underage person, and the bartender who took her order was sentenced to probation after pleading no contest to disorderly conduct.

The bar was temporarily shut down due 'hazardous conditions', police said.