Articles Posted in Slip and Fall

A woman carrying large paintings down the steps from an art gallery tripped and fell on an eroded concrete staircase. The building was owned by the local city government, which had leased the property to the art gallery, which sublet to numerous tenants – the plaintiff among them. stairs

The defendant North Carolina city in this premises liability lawsuit sought summary judgment – which was granted – on an assertion of sovereign immunity. Attorneys for the city argued the claim did not fall under circumstances for which the city had granted a waiver of governmental immunity.

The plaintiff appealed, and the North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed. Basically, the fact that the city was making a profit off these tenants meant that it was serving a proprietary function, the plaintiff argued, which meant the city couldn’t assert governmental immunity.

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A slip-and-fall lawsuit has been revived after review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth District, which held there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether defendant store created the hazardous condition in question. water

According to federal court records, plaintiff slipped and fell in a big-box store in September 2012. She filed a personal injury lawsuit alleging she had slipped on a pool of water that had collected on the ground due to a roof that was negligently-maintained. District court entered summary judgment in favor of the store. However, finding there were numerous issues of genuine material fact that still had yet to be decided, the Fifth Circuit reversed.

Plaintiff suffered the injury while shopping with her sister, who witnessed the incident. An employee of the store was present shortly thereafter and retrieved a wheelchair for plaintiff and helped her leave the store. Plaintiff’s sister then drove her to the emergency room. The manager at the time filed an incident report and noted the floor in the area where plaintiff had slipped was clean except for small droplets of water on the floor. Manager noted the weather that day was rainy, but listed the source of the water on the floor as “unknown.”  Continue reading

Workplace hazards must be taken seriously, whether the job is being carried out at a construction site, a restaurant, or an office. chef

In a recent case in Connecticut, a personal chef employed by a wealthy homeowner tripped and fell on a plastic runner, placed there by a construction contractor initiating a host of renovations at the home.

In a situation like this, the worker would be considered the employee of the homeowner. Assuming the homeowner provided workers’ compensation (and in an arrangement like this, that wouldn’t necessarily be guaranteed), the worker would be unable to pursue litigation against the employer. However, there would be no stopping a claim against a liable third party, in this case the construction company. According to the Greenwich Time, that’s exactly what the plaintiff did – and prevailed.

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When a guest in a hotel is injured on site, hotels can be liable for the negligent acts of hotel employees. In order for a hotel to be legally responsible for injuries incurred by a patron, plaintiffs need to establish that the hotel was somehow negligent. In other words, the hotel owed the visitor a duty of care, and breached that duty and the end result was that the person was injured.hotel

Generally speaking, hotels have a duty to exercise reasonable care in operating the business and protecting guests. Under premises liability law, a hotel visitor would be considered an “invitee,” which means he or she would be entitled to a high level of protection (as compared to, say, a trespasser or someone who is on site strictly for their own benefit). Invitees can generally expect that a hotel would conduct background checks on its employees, make the parking lots secure and have locks on the doors, maintain stairs and elevators and train pool staff on prevention of guest injuries. It also means that hotels would take care to reduce the chances of a slip-and-fall accident on site.

In the recent case, weighed by the Idaho Supreme Court, plaintiff suffered personal injury in a fall at a hotel. The issue the state high court had to consider was whether the statute of limitations (the time limit she had in which to file his claim) should be tolled (extended) because of confusion in identifying the actual owner of the hotel at the time of the incident. This case underscores why it is so imperative to have an experienced hotel injury attorney handling your case. Continue reading

An 83-year-old woman was recently awarded $550,000 by a jury in New York for injuries she sustained in a parking garage trip-and-fall back in 2013. parking garage

According to the Democrat & Chronicle, the fall occurred in a hospital parking garage at dawn, when she arrived early to undergo surgery for cancer. She was assisting her daughter, who uses a wheelchair, in getting out of the vehicle. She tripped on a cement parking stop that had been placed inside a pedestrian walkway next to the handicapped parking stall. Those cement stops were the same color as the floor in the parking garage, and the lighting, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer, was “grossly inadequate.”

The plaintiff fell as a result and suffered a fractured shoulder. A significant issue in this case was the fact that the hospital was unable to provide records of maintenance or inspection for the area where the plaintiff had fallen. As an invitee to the property, she was owed the highest duty of care by the property owner and site manager. That means not only would the hospital need to keep up with regular maintenance, promptly address any hazards, and warn about those that are not immediately remedied, but also staffers must regularly inspect areas used by patients and visitors for possible dangers. The hospital’s inability to prove that it did this was central to the plaintiff’s case.

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Inadequate inspection policies at a Dollar General Store resulted in serious injuries in a slip-and-fall accident in Alabama. That’s according to the findings of jurors in Alabama, who awarded the plaintiff $1.75 million in damages.spill

According to AL.com, the incident in question occurred four years ago at the retail chain store, where a customer, then 60, slipped on a clear liquid on the tile floor in the chemical aisle. That liquid was later determined to be laundry detergent. As a result of the fall, she sustained severe fractures to her leg and shoulders that necessitated eight surgeries. Additionally, she required nearly 400 doctor visits and incurred some $470,000 in medical bills.

The plaintiff was rendered permanently disabled as a result of the fall, according to her lawsuit.

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In any North Carolina slip-and-fall lawsuit, it is essential that the person injured prove the property owner/ manager had either actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard. That means either the owner knew about it because the owner created it or someone informed the owner about it or the owner should have known because it had existed for such a length of time that it should have been discovered in the course of exercising due care. watermelon

If this element is not satisfied, the slip-and-fall lawsuit will not succeed.

This was the case in Edwards v. Hy-Vee, Inc., recently before the Nebraska Supreme Court. This was a situation in which a woman slipped and fell on a piece of watermelon, suffering injuries as a result.  Continue reading

In North Carolina, cities enjoy a general authority and control over all public streets, alleys, bridges and sidewalks within those corporate limits. However, those cities, by statute (NCGS 160A-296(a)(1)), must also maintain those sidewalks in proper repair. Cities are also responsible to conduct reasonable inspections from time-to-time to check for any possible defects. sidewalkcrack

In order to be found liable for a personal injury caused by a defective sidewalk, an individual has to prove that the city had actual or constructive notice of the defect. That means one needs to show someone actually told the city about that particular defect before – and the city did nothing to fix it or warn people about it – or the condition existed for such a length of time that had the city been using reasonable care, it would have discovered it.

In most cases, we’re going to be talking about constructive notice. That means plaintiffs have to gather lots of information to lay the foundation for the case. They may even need expert witness testimony to discuss how and when the defect formed.  Continue reading

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. icewalk

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

A woman shopping for plants at a big box hardware store slipped and fell and suffered serious and permanent brain damage. watering

According to her lawsuit, Hendrickson v. Lowe’s Home Centers LLC, plaintiff accuses the store of negligently allowing water to pool in the outdoor garden area of the shopping center. She said this created a dangerous condition about which the store knew or should have known and which posed unreasonable hazards to customers.

Trial began this month in the personal injury lawsuit, which is being heard by a state court in Nevada.

Plaintiff, a married mother of three, is seeking not just compensatory but punitive damages in the case. The basis for this is the fact that the chain store knew of at least 33 other slip-and-fall incidents at other locations across the country – all occurring in the outdoor garden supplies sales areas.  Continue reading

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