An appeals court has rejected an Ohio man’s lawsuit against his then-fiancée. The man claimed he tripped over her shoes, which caused him to fall down the basement steps of her home, MLive.com reports.
The three-panel judge from the 8th District Court of Appeals ruled that John Walworth cannot sue his wife Judy Khoury over the Feb. 18, 2018 incident where he lost his balance after stepping on the shoes she left on the landing at the top of her basement steps, and tumbled down the stairs. Walworth was carrying a box filled with four one-gallon jugs of vinegar from her car to the basement, but the panel deemed the shoes were “open and obvious” and anyone could have spotted them, if reasonable precautions were taken.
The fall left Walworth with broken bones in his leg, arm, and hand, which required three surgeries, as well as several months of physical therapy. He racked up over $80,000 in medical bills and allegedly lost more than $18,000 in income because his injuries made him miss work. He filed the suit Oct. 2019, alleging she created dangerous conditions in her home and failed to protect a “social guest” against them.
Khoury told Walworth’s attorney in a sworn deposition that while the tumble was her fault, her shoes are regularly kept in that area, and did not think to warn him about them. Since she allegedly never saw him fall, she wasn’t certain that her shoes contributed to the incident.
“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,” her attorneys said.
Her home insurance company stated the shoes were out in the open, and weren’t considered a danger that a reasonable person could not have avoided.
Walworth and Khoury have reportedly known each other for decades before they started dating in 2015. The two got engaged in 2017, and got married two years later. Court records indicate they are still married.