Ohio Man Files Lawsuit Against Wife After Tripping Over Her Shoes On The Stairs

Photo: Joe Hendrickson / Shutterstock.com
Stairway inside of a home

After an accident at his then-fiance's Cleveland, Ohio, one man is taking legal action — or at least trying to.

John Walworth had to pay more than $80,000 dollars worth of medical bills after breaking several bones and needing to be rushed to the hospital back in February 2018.

And while his injuries are no laughing matter, the reason for his fall is a little... questionable.

He is trying to sue his wife after tripping on her shoes on the stairs. 

In the court filings, Walworth argued that he didn’t see his now-wife's shoes because he was carrying a box of vinegar into her basement for her.

Unfortunately for Walworth, the three-judge panel at the 8th District Court of Appeals said that his wife’s shoes were “open and obvious” and had he been taking reasonable precautions while carrying said box of vinegar, he would have seen them.

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Judy Khoury, Walworth’s wife, owned the former West Side Market stand ‘Judy’s Oasis’ until she retired in 2016 and also worked as an insurance claims adjuster, according to records.

Khoury and Walworth have known each other for decades before finally dating in 2015 and getting engaged in 2017.

When he tripped and fell on Feb. 18, 2018, he had just been visiting Khoury’s house in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood.

The box she had asked him to carry was full of four, one-gallon jugs of vinegar — lugging the box from her car to the basement using the back door of the house.

During a sworn deposition, Khoury testified that she usually leaves her shoes by the back door, not thinking to tell Walworth about them, and was unsure if he actually tripped over the shoes as she had never actually seen him fall.

When Walworth entered through the back door with the box in his arms, he stepped with his left foot on the pair of black and grey shoes, catching the tip of the stair tread with his right foot and then ultimately falling down the flight of stairs into the basement.

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He had broken bones in his hand, his arm, and his leg, and had to undergo three surgeries that were followed by months of physical therapy.

The resulting medical bills cost him a whopping $80,000 as well as an $18,000 loss in income since he couldn’t go to work because of his injuries.

When his attorney asked Khoury whether she believed his fall was her fault, she said she did.

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Following the accident, Walworth filed a lawsuit against Khoury in October 2019 — his attorney, Henry Chamberlain argued that she “created dangerous conditions in her home and failed in her duty as a host to protect a social guest from those conditions.”

The two attorneys provided by Khoury’s home insurance company argued that her shoes were out in the open and did not constitute an unavoidable danger — that just because she feels personally responsible for having left the shoes, she doesn’t hold legal responsibility.

“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,” said her attorneys, and the appeals court agreed.

Walworth’s case was thrown out, and the couple, who married in May of 2019, remain married to this day, according to Cuyahoga County Probate Court records.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.