Injured teenager’s family spend thousands after house party floor collapses

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By Tori Mason

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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KCNC) – Some teenagers are still recovering after the ground collapsed at a crowded party in Arapahoe County in February. A claim was filed with the homeowner’s insurance on behalf of a guest who had to pay thousands of dollars for medical treatment.

Grayson West was seriously injured when the ground collapsed. The 19-year-old was lucky not to lose a leg.

“I wasn’t in too much pain at the time. My mind was spinning like ‘what do I do now? How can I get out of here? West recalled. “It looked like my heel had come out of my shoe. I was freaked out, but I stayed calm. I knew I had to get out of the house.

West says he managed to crawl out the window to escape the smell of gas. He didn’t realize the extent of his injuries until he woke up in hospital with his leg full of pins.

His tibia slipped off his foot and his talus dislocated 180 degrees and fractured. Emergency surgery saved his leg.

“The doctor basically said he looked like he was thrown in a blender,” West said.

West couldn’t put any weight on that leg and he won’t for months. With rods and pins holding his ankle in place, he has remained largely immobile ever since.

His insurance is with Kaiser. In the weeks that followed, he followed up with his network doctor on the future of his mobility.

“Everything was dark and dark. We’ve talked a lot about what happens if the bone dies, if it doesn’t get enough blood, if the prosthesis isn’t accepted. Amputation was an option. It’s scary to hear a 19-year-old with a whole life ahead of me,” West said.

West and his family sought a second opinion from UCHealth where they received a much better prognosis with additional surgery. UCHealth is out of its network and its insurance refused to pay for the procedure, but West chose to have the surgery anyway.

Now they have to pay thousands for it. Kurt Zaner at Zaner Harden Law signed West as a client.

“These people have to pay out of pocket for the surgery he needs to give him the best chance of saving that leg. Grayson gets no help from his health insurance or very little help from health insurance, and he doesn’t receives no help from home insurance,” Zaner said.

Zaner filed a claim against the homeowner’s insurance because the homeowner’s insurance does not take responsibility. He also blames the family’s personal health insurance for not covering his surgeries.

“They will have defenses. Home insurance might say, “Well, was it foreseeable that this could have happened? But if you see the videos from the party and lots of kids are jumping, at some point it becomes too much,” Zaner said.

Zaner says nothing can be done about the house’s questionable structural integrity.

“That’s the first thing we thought of. Should this floor collapse? But because the house is over six years old, it’s too late to press charges,” Zaner explained. “You really only have two years to file a construction defect complaint. They give you an additional four years to discover the defect.

Zaner says he expects the homeowner’s insurance to deny the claim. If that happens, they’re more than ready to sue them and let a jury decide if they should pay for Grayson’s recovery.

“I’m glad we all got out of there alive and it’s no worse than that. If I could go back, I probably would have said no to the party,” West said.

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