“I heard a noise, and then I can’t remember anything,” said blind, wheelchair-bound Klaus Ohlmeier in court, the Hamburger Morgenpost reported on Friday. “I’m glad it didn’t come out any worse.”
The 64-year-old suffered internal bleeding and broke several ribs in the fall onto the path below.
The accident happened in August 2010 after a construction firm renovating the building removed all the balconies from one side.
The company initially replaced the balconies with wooden planks for safety, “but we had to remove them to insulate the blind people’s home,” said the site manager named only as Patrick B.
“There was a sign,” he added, perhaps not realising how useless this would be had the building actually been full of blind people as he implied.
The balcony doors, now effectively long windows that reached to the floor, were only secured with a thin strip of metal, and reportedly still easy to open. “I need a lot of fresh air,” Ohlmeier told the court.
“The home management told me that the balconies were missing, but not even my carer told me that it was really dangerous.”
Patrick B. is now being sued for injury resulting from negligence. “I didn’t want anything to happen,” the 38-year-old testified.