Employee Wins Suit Under Workers’ Compensation Act After Falling Down Flight of Stairs

Helen Rodriguez, a former special events coordinator for the City of Brighton, Colorado, was walking to her office in the basement of the town’s city hall on January 8, 2009. She then stopped near the top of a flight of stairs located along the outside of the building as she greeted her coworkers, Scott Miller and Dennis Williams. After a discussion she began to walk down the dry and unobstructed stairs. Suddenly, she stumbled downward. Rodriguez smashed her head and lost consciousness. She cannot remember precisely how she fell, but knew she was not experiencing a headache, neck pain, dizziness, or vision problems. Still, she does not know whether she tripped, slipped, lost her balance, or something else entirely.

Rodriguez was then taken by an ambulance to a nearby emergency room, where she underwent CAT and Magnetic Resonance Angiogram scans. These showed four unruptured aneurysms located on the right side of her brain. Several weeks later, she received surgery to releive these aneurysms. As a result of her fall, Rodriguez now suffers from head, neck, and back injuries.

Ms. Rodriguez took steps to address her injuries: she sued the city under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

View looking down from the top of a set of stairs in a building stairwell

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