The family of David Lloyd Roach dropped the $4.3 million lawsuit in exchange for $37,500 just as the civil trial was scheduled to start. Roach died after falling backward as he tried to step up on a deck just 14 inches off the ground, and the family then sued a Seaside, Ore., vacation retreat.
Roach had rented several units at Tides by the Sea with his wife, sons and other members of his extended family in August 2013. They had been there several days when Roach tried to step from the grass onto the deck at one of the units. He stubbed his toe on the edge of the deck, fell backward and struck his head. Although Roach did not lose consciousness and said he was fine, later in the day he felt nauseous and began to vomit. He had suffered a subdural hematoma, and despite treatment died three months after the accident.
The lawsuit claimed Tides by the Sea and its manager were responsible because the deck had no railing. The defense had planned to call an expert witness to point out that building codes do not require a railing on such a low deck.