Employee sues after falling down motor home steps

By Michelle Massey | Jul 16, 2010

A service technician for Berryland Motors in Ponchatoula has filed suit against a motor home manufacturer, saying he fell out of the vehicle when its steps gave way.

Brian David Easley and Stephanie Carlin Easley filed suit against Forest River, Inc. Lippert Components, a Division of Drew Industries Inc., Drew Industries and Lippert Acquisition Corp. June 2 in Tangipahoa Parish District Court. The defendants removed the case to federal court in New Orleans July 6.

Brian Easley says he was walking down the steps of a Georgetown model motor home in July 2009 when those steps failed, causing him to fall. Easley says he fell forward and landed on the concrete with his foot still caught in the collapsed steps. Easley says he ruptured a disc in his back during the fall. He say the injury required him to undergo surgery to replace the ruptured disc with an artificial one and place a metal cage around the vertebra with two rods along both sides of his spine.

Easley says the steps that caused his fall were recalled by the manufacturer Lippert Components.

"Forest River, Inc. is liable under the Louisiana Product Liability Act because the motor home which it manufactured was unreasonably dangerous because of the defective condition of the steps," the lawsuit states.

Easley argues the motor home was unreasonably dangerous due to the inadequacy of the bolts used in the design. He also says he design of the steps caused undue stress to be placed on the bolts used to secure the steps permitting them to fail under normal usage.

Easley is seeking damages for pain and suffering, mental anxiety and distress, physical injury, impairment of function, loss of life's pleasures, loss of recreational activities, change in lifestyle, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, future lost wages and loss of earning capacity, interest and court costs.

Stephanie Easley is seeking damages for loss of consortium, services and society.

The plaintiffs are represented by Charles R. Moore and Patrick N. Broyles of Moore, Thompson, Lee & Broyles in Baton Rouge.

U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01904

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