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Pamela Lemmer, Personal Representative of the Estate of Jeff Deising, deceased v Transport Repair Services, Inc. and RZ Properties, LLC

Case Caption: Pamela Lemmer, Personal Representative of the Estate of Jeff Deising, deceased v Transport Repair Services, Inc. and RZ Properties, LLC, Case No. 2009-11988-NO, In The Kent County Circuit Court, State of Michigan

Verdict: No cause/Defense verdict

Judge: Mark A. Trusock

Date of Vedict: 1/24/2011


Plaintiff: John W. Knight, White Lake

John C. Kaplansky, Bingham Farms

Defendant: Russell W. Porritt II, Bloomfield Hills

Wendy C. Johnson, Toledo, OH

Facts: A worker fell to his death when the roof he was repairing gave way. His estate sought damages from the premises owner, the lessee of the premises. The defendants denied liability. A Kent County jury returned a verdict of no cause for action in the case.

Defendant RZ Properties owned realestate in Grand Rapids that was leased to Defendant Transport Repair Services, Inc., which ran a truck maintenance and repair facility at thelocation. In 2007, a leak was discovered in one of the buildings on the property. Weather Shield Roofing System was called to provide an estimate for repairs. WeatherShield conducted an initial inspection and then sent another representative to take core samples by drilling holes in the roof to further evaluate the extent of repairs. RZ Properties then contracted with Weather Shield on behalf of Transport Repair to perform the repairs.

Plaintiff's decedent, Jeff Deising, was a temporary worker assigned to work at Weather Shield. On Deising's first day of work and while under Weather Shield's supervision, he was walking on the roof when it gave way. He fell through the roof and sustained fatal injuries.

Plaintiff's alleged that defendants failed to maintain the roof in a reasonably safe condition and/or warn Deising of the dangerous condition of the roof deck. Plaintiff argued that defendants knew or should have known the deck was hazardous since an evaluation of the roof was conducted.

Defendants denied notice that the roof deck was in a state of disrepair. They argued that they were unaware of any roof hazards prior to Deising's fall. RZ Properties stated that it relied on Weather Shield to properly identify the problem and the necessary repairs which would be required to fix the leak.

Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff's decedent was a 40-year-old male who worked as a roofer at the time of this accident.

Alleged Injury: Blunt force trauma, resulting in death several weeks after the fall.

Case Evaluation Award: $400,000

Settlement Efforts:Last Demand: $800,000

Last Offer: $50,000

Insurance Carrier: Colony Specialty Group

Case Status: Plaintiff's Estate has filed an appeal. Which was denied. Case is closed.

Portions of the above trial summaries from Michigan Lawyers Weekly and The Michigan Trial Reporter.

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