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While walking down the indoor stairway at her apartment complex, a woman slipped and fell on the landing in between the second and first floors.  The tumble sent her down the remaining ten stairs to the ground floor, causing severe injury to her back.  She was unable to return to her job and perform her normal work duties.  Surgery was unsuccessful in helping her mobility, and the accident left her unable to move around or to sit for an extended period of time.

The woman claimed that she slipped because there was a puddle of water on the second floor landing.  She stated the reason why the water was there was due to rain coming through a large window which was routinely left open.  She said that the hand cranks, which were used to open and close the windows, were missing.  Thus, the windows were frequently left in either the open or shut position for days and even weeks at a time.  Attorneys representing the owners of the apartment complex presented a settlement offer in the amount of $175,000.  The woman’s attorney felt that the offer was inadequate to compensate his client for what she had gone through.  He sought out the expert advice of CompuWeather to hammer down the facts of the case.

At trial, the CompuWeather forensic meteorologist testified that there had been a heavy rainstorm the night before the accident occurred.  Over one inch of rain had poured down at the location of the apartment complex.  In addition, the storm produced strong, gusty winds from an east and northeasterly direction for the first seven hours of the more than ten hour rain event.  This was a critical point, as the window in the apartment complex faced east.  The conclusion was that the strong east winds would have caused the rain to be blown through the window and onto the adjacent stairway landing where the slip had occurred on the morning after the rainstorm.

The testimony by the CompuWeather meteorologist finished the second day of the trial.  The next morning, before court was called to order, a settlement figure of $350,000, or double the original offer amount, was presented to the plaintiff and accepted.