It’s July, so perhaps now is not the best time to talk about icy walkways and snow-slicked floors. But slip-and-fall lawsuits can be filed at any point in the year, and some of the principles that apply to wintertime slip-and-falls can be useful in other seasons too.
In the recent Iowa Supreme Court case of Alcala v. Marriott Int’l, Inc., a $1.2 million personal injury verdict was overturned after the high court determined the trial court improperly submitted a negligent training theory without first eliciting testimony on the standard of care for worker training and then proving a breach of that standard. The trial court also reportedly made the mistake of instructing jurors that an icy walkway violated the private safety code that violates slip-resistant construction materials, despite conflicting expert testimony.
According to court records, this premises liability action arose from an incident that occurred in January 2010. Plaintiff, a software consultant, was based in Texas but often traveled out-of-state to clients that were having the software installed. On this particular incident, plaintiff was on such a business trip and was staying at a local hotel, owned and operated by defendant. Just before 8 a.m. one morning, she was exiting the hotel to head to the client’s office when she slipped and fell, breaking her ankle. Continue reading