Repair Shop to Pay After Man Falls in Auto Service Pit

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Dec. 10, 2020—An elderly man who fell into an open service pit at an auto repair shop has settled a claim against the shop franchisor and its franchisee for $1.8 million, according to a press release from North Carolina Lawyers Weekly.

The 84-year-old man, who was represented by Osborn Gambale Beckley & Budd in Raleigh, hit is head and suffered multiple brain injuries from the fall back in May of 2019, according to the firm's website. The injuries caused permanent cognitive defects that impact the man's balance and executive functions, including his short-term memory. The man has moved to an assisted living facility as a result. 

In the case, it was argued that the orientation of the shop floor and a lack of adequate warnings violated OSHA and NC DOL regulations and that the franchisee failed to follow the franchisor’s safety training and policies stating customers were required to be escorted by staff members while on the bay floor. Surveillance footage was used to show that the man was unaccompanied when he fell.  

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