On May 31, 2017 the COSA decided Marrick Homes v. Rutkowski, an appeal from a very large money judgment by a trial court in favor of a severely injured homeowner against a general contractor. Mr. Rutkowski fell thirteen feet when a protective railing across a patio door opening failed. He broke bones and sustained a head injury. Expert witnesses explained that the wrong nails were used to secure the protective railing to the house, and that the connections failed when Mr. Rutkowski placed his weight against the railing. The railing did not comply with local building codes.
The work was done by a subcontractor of the defendant at least seven years before, when the house was owned by someone else. Mr. Rutkowski had even been living in the house for several months before he fell.