Slip & Fall
A Rhode Island real estate agent, a 65-year-old woman, was showing a distressed house that had been foreclosed on by Fannie Mae, whereby ownership was transferred from the owner of the house to Fannie Mae regarding their mortgage foreclosure. As stated, the house was in distress as it was largely deteriorated and not habitable. The real estate agent was working for a real estate company showing the house that was listed by another real estate company for Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae and the listing real estate company had agreements between them regarding showing the house and any necessitated maintenance of the property. The real estate agent that was showing the house to a client went up the stairs and into the house and her and the client surveyed the property for a matter of 15 minutes and then were on the way out of the house on the front porch, the way they came in. Because of the uneven front stairs, the real estate agent tripped and, because there was no railing that the real estate agent reached for, she fell fracturing her wrist and elbow. Suit was filed against Fannie Mae for allowing a negligent condition to exist as owner (Fannie Mae had foreclosed on the house) and against the listing real estate company that had listed the house for sale for Fannie Mae. Inasmuch as the real estate agent that was injured worked for a different real estate company than the listing broker, she was able to sue both Fannie Mae and the listing broker. One of the main issues in the case was the plaintiff real estate agent that was injured was knowingly showing a distressed house that was not in good shape to begin with. Another issue was the fact that she went up the same stairs that she subsequently fell down on. In addition, there were indemnification agreements between Fannie Mae and the listing broker. After discovery was done including depositions and after mediation, the case was settled for $100,000.00.