My dad stepped on a nail left in our yard from a recent siding project done by and outside company. He developed and infection and due to his diabetes had to lose his foot. Would this company be held liable for the medical bills due to their negligence?
2 Answers from Attorneys
This is a difficult question. The primary issue would be whether the siding contractor was negligent. Roofers and cladding-installers often leave a few nails laying around. (Sometimes they wind up in feet; sometimes they wind up in tires.) You might have a decent argument that the siding contractor should have removed all of the nails from the yard. You would in theory have to prove that it was one of the siding contractor's nails, and hence it would be good if you still had this nail. There are also practical considerations, such as whether this company has liability insurance. You might want to consult with an attorney about this. I will be happy to speak with you if you have questions.
I agree with Mr. Kirby's assessment. These are difficult cases to win for a number of reason. The key is what is the contractor's duty to your family. Is their duty to go around the home and make perfectly sure that every single nail was picked up? That's a question for the Court. Also, since we are a contributory negligence state (meaning if your dad was considered to be negligent, then he can't collect anything), the Court would also have to decide if it was reasonable for your Dad to believe all of the nails were gone.