Articles Posted in Slip and Fall

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According to a recent news report from the Florida Record, a woman has just filed a lawsuit against a major big box retailer for an alleged slip-and-fall accident. The incident listed in the complaint is alleged to have occurred in at a store in Orlando, Florida. The store manager and the corporation were listed as defendants in this Orlando personal injury lawsuit.

wet floor accident Specifically, plaintiff alleges she slipped and fell while shopping at the store.  She further alleged she slipped on what she is calling a transitory foreign substance that was on the floor.  The basis for negligence is that store employees, and ultimately store management, failed to clean up the transitory substance in a timely manner or place warning placards on the floor, and this is what caused her accident. Continue reading →

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A slip-and-fall lawsuit plaintiff recently was handed a victory by the Alabama Supreme Court, which ruled the case should be remanded for trial because the defendant, in this case a restaurant, failed to prove the hazard in question was open and obvious.wetfloor

Even though this is an out-of-state case, the open and obvious doctrine is a pretty universal one in most states when it comes to premises liability law and slip-and-fall cases in particular. The open and obvious defense is an exception to the duty of care owed by property owners which requires that they use reasonable care to shield or warn lawful visitors from dangerous conditions. If the danger is open and obvious, it is presumed the visitor will take reasonable care to avoid it and protect themselves. There is no duty to warn of a condition that is obvious.

In the recent slip-and-fall case out of Alabama, the court examined the details of an injury suffered by the patron of a fast-food restaurant, cast in the light most favorable to plaintiff, who was appealing an earlier summary judgment in favor of defendant.  Continue reading →

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The majority of slip-and-fall lawsuits in Florida are settled prior to trial. Many commercial premises liability policies provide millions in coverage, and sometimes companies want to just settle and move on. But of course, the dynamics are different with every case, and your slip-and-fall attorney needs to be prepared to take a case to trial if necessary. wet floor

In a recent case before the Mississippi Supreme Court, plaintiff in a slip-and-fall case was actually seeking a second trial, after the first ended in a verdict favorable to defendant. The question for the court was whether the fact that a convicted felon served on that jury should prompt a second trial. Among the many rights felons lose upon conviction is the right to serve on a jury.

The trial court agreed that this alone was enough to warrant a a new trial. However, the state supreme court disagreed and reversed that order. Continue reading →

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An 83-year-old woman arrived at her local hospital in Rochester, NY to undergo a surgical cancer treatment. It was early in the morning, so it was dark and the overhead lighting in the parking garage was poor. She parked in the handicapped spot and then helped her daughter, seated in the backseat, into her wheelchair.parkinglots

As the Democrat & Chronicle reported, the hospital placed cement parking stops inside the pedestrian walkway that bordered those handicapped parking spaces. The stops were the same color as the concrete floor. As plaintiff rounded the corner of her car, she tripped and fell. She sustained a serious shoulder fracture.

When the hospital refused her offer a reasonable settlement for the 2013 injury, she filed a premises liability lawsuit. The case went to trial just recently, with jurors deciding the case in plaintiff’s favor after just 20 minutes of deliberation. The final award: $550,000. Continue reading →

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In most trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall lawsuits, injured persons hoping to prevail have to prove actual or constructive knowledge. That is, they have to show the property owner/ manager knew or should have known about the hazard, either because:

  • They created it;
  • They were informed of it;
  • It existed for such a length of time, it should have been discovered in the course of reasonable care. gravel1

It is the plaintiff who bears this burden of proof.  Continue reading →

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Government agencies owe a duty to ensure public walkways and thoroughfares are correctly designed and adequately maintained to minimize the risk of danger to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. When a dangerous condition results in an unreasonable risk of injury to members of the public, the agency may be liable to pay damages resulting from that injury.sidewalk1

An expose by the Sun Sentinel last year revealed Fort Lauderdale alone has 106 miles of bad sidewalk – enough to stretch from here all the way to Fort Pierce. On top of that, there are more than 850 miles of road throughout the city that really need sidewalks, but don’t have them. As the city strives to improve accessibility for all road users, this is a major challenge.

But even cities that are working toward improvements can’t escape liability if they are aware of a certain problem and fail to fix it or warn the public about it. Take for example the recent case of City of Beech Grove v. Beloat, a trip-and-fall injury lawsuit weighed by the Indiana Supreme Court. Continue reading →

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Proving liability in a Florida slip-and-fall case can sometimes be an uphill battle. That has largely to do with F.S. 768.0755, which requires plaintiffs who fell on transitory foreign substances to show defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of that the substance was there. tile

Absent a written memo or audio recording referencing that specific spill or video of a staffer walking by the spill, proving actual knowledge is very tough. The good news for plaintiffs is that constructive knowledge can be established by showing defendant should have known about the danger. This can be established by showing either that:

  • Condition existed for such a time that business establishment should have discovered it;
  • The condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable (due to the business’s “Mode of Operation”).

Continue reading →

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Fort Lauderdale’s city manager has proposed shelling out $2.1 million in risk insurance funds to cover the cost of sidewalk repairs, following a new report indicating more than 100 miles of it in the city are unsafe. sidewalkcrack

That will only begin to cover the costs of fixing the walkways, though. The consultant’s study that opined a quarter of the city’s 425 miles of sidewalks are badly damaged (cracked, uneven or pocked), and the cost to fully repair those areas is going to be $16 million. But even paying that much won’t give the city the safe walkability label for which it’s striving. Even if the city doubled the number of sidewalks that currently exist, that wouldn’t be enough to place sidewalks on all the roads in the city that lack them. By some estimates, that cost could swell to $100 million.

But it’s a major concern when you consider two things:

  • Florida has the highest rate of pedestrian accidents, fatalities and injuries in the nation.
  • The city has spent $1.3 million in five years to settle trip-and-fall claims related to sidewalk falls, but it’s only spent about $750,000 in repairs during that time – with about $94,000 of that reimbursed by homeowners who live adjacent to those sidewalks.

Continue reading →

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In 2014, Florida broke the record for the most tourists ever – more than 97 million for the year.sidewalk1

Many hotels reported that for the first time in a long time (and for some, ever), occupancy rates exceeded 70 percent on a steady basis. Some 1.15 million Floridians are employed in the tourism industry, and many of those are in hospitality.

In addition to out-of-town guests, it’s estimated Floridians made a record 20.2 million trips inside state borders that same year. Gov. Rick Scott has vowed to continue marketing campaigns and other efforts to further build on these records and draw a record 100 million people to the state this year.

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When someone takes to the dance floor, they may want to “get down,” but they usually don’t actually mean “on the ground.”barsign

Unfortunately, when bars, nightclubs and other entertainment establishments allow drinks – alcoholic or otherwise – on the dance floor, patrons are at-risk for a slip-and-fall injury.

What started as a night of fun and revelry quickly becomes a trip to the emergency room, and in some cases, an extensive recovery with time off work or worse.

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