When entering a public place with lots of foot-traffic, such as a grocery store or shopping mall, many people may take for granted that the premises will be safe and clean-and indeed, owners of such places are under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that the property is safe for their customers. However, as slip and fall lawyers in NYC know, many people each year are injured when they slip and fall due to a wet floors or torn carpeting.
A 68 year old New York woman is suing a grocery store chain and the supplier of its floor mats for $1 million in federal district court for injuries she sustained when she tripped in a Westchester store. The woman tripped over a mat in the entrance of the grocery store, and broke her right wrist and cut her eyebrow, which remains permanently scarred.
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Slip and fall, or premises liability, cases arise when a person slips, trips or falls on another’s property, and thereby injured. In order to recover damages in these cases, the injured person must be able to show that the owner of the premises acted negligently with regard to the dangerous condition, and therefore is the responsible party, and that the injured person was not careless in failing to avoid the dangerous condition. Negligence on the part of the store owner can be demonstrated in several ways, including showing that the store owner should have known about the dangerous condition because a reasonable store owner would have discovered it and repaired it.
Rainy or snowy winter weather can be hazardous in itself due to the likelihood of slipping and falling on ice on the sidewalks, or puddles of water as the ice melts. In such poor weather conditions everyone should be aware of their surroundings so that they can avoid some risk of injury.
Source: NYPost.com, “Wrestler’s widow goes to the mat,” Bruce Golding, Nov. 19, 2012