Photo: Carolina Pimenta/Unsplash
An Ohio man attempted to sue his wife for placing her shoes in an inconvenient location, causing him to trip and fall down a flight of stairs, resulting in several bone fractures.
An appeals court recently dismissed John Walworth’s case against his wife, Judy Khoury, stemming from an incident in February of 2018. Walworth was bringing vinegar bottles to his then-basement fiancee’s when he tripped over a pair of her shoes and went down the basement stairs, shattering bones in his leg, arm, and hand. He later sued Judy, saying that her negligence cost him $80,000 in hospital expenditures and another $18,000 in lost income due to his injuries, which led him to miss work.
John Walworth was asked to carry a box containing four one-gallon jugs of vinegar from her car to her basement on February 18, 2018, when visiting his fiancee’s house in Cleveland. He took the box and entered the house by a backdoor, but as he prepared to descend the steps into the basement, he stepped with his left foot on a pair of black and grey shoes that Khoury had left on the basement landing. As a result, his right foot caught the stair tread’s lip and he lost his footing.
Walworth fell down the steps and broke several bones, which required three surgeries and months of physical therapy to recover. In October of 2019, the man’s lawyer sued Judy Khoury, claiming that she had created dangerous conditions in her house and had failed in her duties as a host to safeguard a “social guest” from them. The weirdest thing is that Walworth had married her in April of that same year…
Judy Khoury claimed in a sworn deposition that she always left her shoes by the back entrance and hadn’t thought to notify her then-fiancee about them. She also stated that because she did not see Walworth fall, she could not be certain he tripped over her shoes. Khoury’s lawyers stated that she felt sorry for leaving the shoes out, but that this did not imply that she accepted legal responsibility for his injuries.
“Had Mr. Walworth used ordinary care and simply looked where he was going, especially given he was about to go down a set of stairs, he would have easily seen the shoes on the floor,” Khoury’s attorneys said.
The 8th District Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel agreed with the defendant’s counsel and dismissed Walworth’s claim. According to court filings, Walworth and Khoury were already married at the time the lawsuit was filed and continue to be married to this day…