Our client, a professional roofer, was asked to inspect a commercial warehouse roof by a friend of his, despite the fact that our client was a residential roofer with no exposure to metal warehouse roofs. Although the property owner and manager knew of the presence of skylights on the roof, they did not warn the roofer, they did not provide access to the inside of the building where the roofer could have seen the skylights, and they did not properly maintain the skylights over the years they owned, managed, and maintained the building.
The skylights were panel type corrugated fiberglass and were the same color as the metal roof. This camouflaged the skylights to people on the roof and presented a tremendous danger to anyone on the roof, including our client. As our client crossed the roof to search for a leak, he fell through one of the camouflaged skylights and suffered numerous severe injuries, including a significant brain injury that prevents him from returning to the job he loved.
When the building was ultimately re-roofed during the course of the litigation, the skylights were removed and a solid roof was installed. Sadly, it took our client’s injuries and the subsequent lawsuit to show the owner the dangers that should have been apparent.