Hotel faces setback in trip-and-fall suit

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Morrell Perkins and his wife Doris checked into the Comfort Inn in Valdosta, Ga., in 2006. During their stay, Perkins descended the stairs on his way from his room to the parking lot, found the step off the curb to be slightly higher than normal, and fell off the curb into the bushes, breaking his ankle, according to court records. At trial, Perkins testified that he had likely traversed the step at some point during his stay prior to his fall, given that it was on his way to and from his room and he had made at least one trip from his room to his car prior to the fall. At trial, Perkins' expert opined that the curb was higher than acceptable under the local building codes, was improperly designed and unpainted (while other single-step curbs in the parking lot were painted), and in many other respects presented a hazard for a trip-and-fall injury. The expert went on to state that single step-type curbs are often trip hazards, generally warranting a warning sign. Val D'Aos...