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$925,000 for Former Military Policeman Injured by a Defective Ladder in Norfolk


Attorneys on Case

What Happened

A former Navy military police officer bought a ladder online to carry out work on his home in Norfolk.

Our client was not aware that the ladder was made of chipboard, a weak material that was not able to bear his weight. When he used the ladder in his home, it collapsed and he fell onto a cement floor, suffering serious injuries.

The former Navy police officer sustained serious injuries including multiple vertebral fractures, nerve damage to lower extremities, multiple rib fractures, and a broken hip.

He hired attorney John Cooper of Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers. The manufacturer and installer were notified of the issue and a site inspection was held.

Our legal team uncovered evidence that the chipboard ladder was made and designed defectively. The ladder was not capable of holding the amount of weight it claimed to be rated for and appears to have violated the industry standards for testing and performance.

Although our client had some pre-existing back and leg conditions before the accident, diagnostic testing before and after the fall found he suffered a severe worsening of the numbness and dysfunction in his leg. A surgical procedure to the sciatic nerve was required.

Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers presented our client’s case to the lawyers representing the ladder manufacturer stating their intention to file a products liability lawsuit. There was limited insurance coverage of $1 million in this case..


A settlement of $925,000 was reached before a lawsuit was filed. A small reduction from the full amount of the insurance available reflected a discount required to get the case resolved immediately and was likely less than the costs of litigation. The maker and seller of the ladder had gone out of business by the time the claim was handled. The case illustrated how hiring a Virginia personal injury lawyer can lead to results even before a lawsuit is filed.

This case was an excellent example of how complex litigation can sometimes be resolved effectively when both sides work cooperatively to analyze a case and did not require filing suit or even mediation.

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