Fatal fall at BPS prompts OSU lawsuit

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osuwhit

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#21
My back and so is everyone else's back is to the steep incline when walking up the stairs. My guess, and purely a guess, is she lost her balance and fell backwards while walking up the steps.
That's my only logical guess. Only difference is I'm leaning forward and using the rail going up.
 
Apr 16, 2008
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#22
I'm no construction or code guy but when a university (or anyone for that matter) does construction isn't the final product inspected by a local government agency as to it's safety and either passed or rejected?
Whether an inspector signed off on it doesn't relieve anyone of liability. It may be a factor in the analysis though, along with whether the stairs met any minimum government safety specifications.
 

Philranger

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#23
I'm surprised it happened in BPS before it happened in GIA. I feel like a need to clip into a top rope when ascending to the upper portion of GIA.
 

PistolPete'sMustache

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#25
I'm quite certain the allegation is for an amount "in excess of $75,000." In negligence cases, you are only required to state whether you seek more or less than $75,000. The reason is for purposes of determining whether the case can be removed to federal court. There is also no way an attorney would calculate the damages for wrongful death in a petition. That number is for the jury and involves a complex formula to determine the value of a human life. It's a bit morbid but necessary in these types of cases. As far as the timing, it is not at all odd to file 10 months after the fact. Limitations is 2 years and often these things get filed on that date so this was actually filed early.

My second observation is that OSU almost certainly has a general liability insurance policy that will cover this lawsuit. So it is likely that the lawsuit is filed for purposes of getting some insurance money and the insurance company will be defending the case. The falling backwards part will be something the insurance company will cling to and will try and settle quickly. If I'm the plaintiffs, I would not expect a large payout from insurance. I'm hoping their attorney advises them to take a reasonable offer from the insurance company because a Payne County jury is not likely to be handing down large awards for people who injure themselves by their own negligence. It is expensive for the insurance company to go to trial on that though and they will offer some money to avoid having to do that. If the plaintiffs are unreasonable, however, they will not think twice about going to trial.
 
Sep 30, 2004
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#27
I'm no construction or code guy but when a university (or anyone for that matter) does construction isn't the final product inspected by a local government agency as to it's safety and either passed or rejected?
The short answer is Yes. Now whether it was inspected by an OSU official, a Stillwater official or both I'm not sure. But you don't get to open a facility unless it meets the proper building codes.

Based on the news article info, I'd be surprised if he wins. Nothing in the articles stands out as a code violation.

$75k seems low to me too for this type of suit


ARCHcowboy
 
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#28
I am very sorry for his loss. But it would seem that he has no case here. It is not the fault of the University that his wife lost her footing on the stairs.
 

Rack

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#31
Strange. Horrible way to lose someone you love...

Surprised this doesn't happen every weekend at TCU. Have you sat in their upper deck? It's crazy. Just wait until we play there next year and you for those that sit in that deck... feels like you are going to fall forward onto the field. I think it's the steepest football stadium in America.
I sat in the horrible upper deck at Zona and moved as far down as I could later in the game...VERY scary up that high and I actually never made it all the way up to my seats and I'm not even afraid of heights. I had my 10 year old with me and no way was I going to scale that mountain with him so we sat lower. If we ever build an upper deck at BPS it better be done in a very safe and classy manner.

I really hate to hear of someone losing their life like that...feel horrible for the family and I'm sure stadiums could be safer, but there is inherent risk involved in going to those structures and we take that risk when we cross the street as well every day. I don't care for a society that seems to think all accidents are someone else’s fault and that everyone seems to want to profit off of tragedy. That being said, we need to be as safe as possible when we build stadiums and arenas so maybe these lawsuits help with that task. However, BPS is not particularly steep nor scary in comparison to most of the stadiums I've visited.
 

Cowboy2U

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The short answer is Yes. Now whether it was inspected by an OSU official, a Stillwater official or both I'm not sure. But you don't get to open a facility unless it meets the proper building codes.

Based on the news article info, I'd be surprised if he wins. Nothing in the articles stands out as a code violation.

$75k seems low to me too for this type of suit


ARCHcowboy
My thought too, $75k is chump change for this type claim. Something isn't kosher here...
 

dezul

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#33
12.2.5.6.8* Aisle Handrails.

12.2.5.6.8.1 Ramped aisles having a gradient exceeding 1 in
20 and aisle stairs shall be provided with handrails at one side
or along the centerline and shall also be in accordance with
7.2.2.4.4.1, 7.2.2.4.4.5, and 7.2.2.4.4.6.


12.2.5.6.8.2 Where seating exists on both sides of the aisle,
the handrails shall be noncontinuous with gaps or breaks at
intervals not exceeding five rows to facilitate access to seating
and to allow crossing from one side of the aisle to the other.

12.2.5.6.8.5 Handrails shall not be required where otherwise
permitted by one of the following:
(1) Handrails shall not be required for ramped aisles having a
gradient not steeper than 1 in 8 and having seating on
both sides where the aisle does not serve as an accessible
route.
(2) The requirement for a handrail shall be satisfied by the
use of a guard provided with a rail that complies with the
graspability requirements for handrails and is located at a
consistent height between 34 in. and 42 in. (865 mm and
1065 mm), measured as follows:
(a) Vertically from the top of the rail to the leading edge
(nosing) of stair treads
(b) Vertically from the top of the rail to the adjacent walking
surface in the case of a ramp.

12.2.5.6.9* Aisle Marking.

12.2.5.6.9.1 A contrasting marking stripe shall be provided
on each tread at the nosing or leading edge so that the location
of such tread is readily apparent, particularly when viewed
in descent.

12.2.5.6.9.2 The marking stripe shall be not less than 1 in.
(25 mm) wide and shall not exceed 2 in. (51 mm) in width.

12.2.5.6.9.3
The marking stripe shall not be required where
tread surfaces and environmental conditions, under all conditions
of use, are such that the location of each tread is readily
apparent, particularly when viewed in descent.
 
Nov 5, 2004
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#34
I'm quite certain the allegation is for an amount "in excess of $75,000." In negligence cases, you are only required to state whether you seek more or less than $75,000. The reason is for purposes of determining whether the case can be removed to federal court. There is also no way an attorney would calculate the damages for wrongful death in a petition. That number is for the jury and involves a complex formula to determine the value of a human life. It's a bit morbid but necessary in these types of cases. As far as the timing, it is not at all odd to file 10 months after the fact. Limitations is 2 years and often these things get filed on that date so this was actually filed early.

My second observation is that OSU almost certainly has a general liability insurance policy that will cover this lawsuit. So it is likely that the lawsuit is filed for purposes of getting some insurance money and the insurance company will be defending the case. The falling backwards part will be something the insurance company will cling to and will try and settle quickly. If I'm the plaintiffs, I would not expect a large payout from insurance. I'm hoping their attorney advises them to take a reasonable offer from the insurance company because a Payne County jury is not likely to be handing down large awards for people who injure themselves by their own negligence. It is expensive for the insurance company to go to trial on that though and they will offer some money to avoid having to do that. If the plaintiffs are unreasonable, however, they will not think twice about going to trial.
This is all very accurate.

I would also say GIA has the steepest steps I've ever seen. The upper deck of Arrowhead is a close second.
 

dezul

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#35
Previous post shows the Life Safety Code - NFPA 101 requirements for Assembly occupancies. I am not sure of the ADA requirements. Sorry for the crappy formatting.

Stairs typically rise up between 4in - 8in depending on which code was applied with runs 11in or deeper.

I think GIA is exempted from most of these requirements cause of the date it was constructed. I am sure the university has performed serveral life safety evaluations on both BPS and GIA and the local code enforcement has signed off on the observations.
 

Darth Ryno

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#37
Never mind about TCU, I didn't know they blew that side of the stadium up in 2010 :(

That was one fairly cool thing about the stadium (and the door to the visitors locker room). It was the steepest angle for any football stadium in the US. Scary steep.

 

osuwhit

Cutting the grass and listening to Van Halen rap.
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#38
12.2.5.6.8* Aisle Handrails.

12.2.5.6.8.1 Ramped aisles having a gradient exceeding 1 in
20 and aisle stairs shall be provided with handrails at one side
or along the centerline and shall also be in accordance with
7.2.2.4.4.1, 7.2.2.4.4.5, and 7.2.2.4.4.6.


12.2.5.6.8.2 Where seating exists on both sides of the aisle,
the handrails shall be noncontinuous with gaps or breaks at
intervals not exceeding five rows to facilitate access to seating
and to allow crossing from one side of the aisle to the other.

12.2.5.6.8.5 Handrails shall not be required where otherwise
permitted by one of the following:
(1) Handrails shall not be required for ramped aisles having a
gradient not steeper than 1 in 8 and having seating on
both sides where the aisle does not serve as an accessible
route.
(2) The requirement for a handrail shall be satisfied by the
use of a guard provided with a rail that complies with the
graspability requirements for handrails and is located at a
consistent height between 34 in. and 42 in. (865 mm and
1065 mm), measured as follows:
(a) Vertically from the top of the rail to the leading edge
(nosing) of stair treads
(b) Vertically from the top of the rail to the adjacent walking
surface in the case of a ramp.

12.2.5.6.9* Aisle Marking.

12.2.5.6.9.1 A contrasting marking stripe shall be provided
on each tread at the nosing or leading edge so that the location
of such tread is readily apparent, particularly when viewed
in descent.

12.2.5.6.9.2 The marking stripe shall be not less than 1 in.
(25 mm) wide and shall not exceed 2 in. (51 mm) in width.

12.2.5.6.9.3
The marking stripe shall not be required where
tread surfaces and environmental conditions, under all conditions
of use, are such that the location of each tread is readily
apparent, particularly when viewed in descent.
Flashbacks of Pat Brock's NFPA Life Safety Code 101 class.. talk about some headaches.
 

PistolPete'sMustache

Sheriff
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#39
I recall GIA upper level being very steep. I think they were grandfathered in since GIA was a renovation and not a new building. I don't think they allow it that steep anymore. I hold on tight to the handrails up there.