What Are The Factors Of Negligence That Would Have To Be Present In Order For An Injured Person To Have A Viable Case?

By and large, anything that the property owner, such as of a restaurant, grocery store, liquor store or even a sewing shop, should have known about could give rise to a claim. There is some subjectivity that goes on in evaluating these kinds of cases, and it is really up to the individual lawyer or lawyers reviewing the matter. A commercial establishment or even a private establishment that has invited guests has an obligation to conduct reasonable inspections of the property and to make certain that dangerous and defective conditions are discovered. Those are the general rules.

There are some exceptions, like a winter storm in progress, that could create a slippery condition, but in that situation, the courts in Connecticut will usually allow the proprietor of the store to permit the storm to end before cleaning up. That does not mean that old buildups of snow and ice do not have to be taken care of. If you have a fresh, floppy snow coming down and it isn’t covering an old ice situation, generally people will not slip on that snow. If you combine it with old ice, it can make for a very dangerous condition.

Who Can Be Held Liable Regarding A Slip And Fall Injury?

Liability generally rests with the party in control of the premises. The owner of the store or tenant of the commercial enterprise is generally considered to be in control of the premises. However, the proprietor may have a lease that makes the landlord responsible for certain services such as removal of snow and ice or certain kinds of repairs.

Generally, the party in control of the premises is deemed primary contact. There may be a document or lease that alters the dynamic of who is in control. During the wintertime in the north, there are often contracts that landlords or proprietors have with snow removal services. A landlord can contract with a snow removal service to remove snow and ice and put down abrasive material such as sand or halite to prevent any dangerous conditions. That does not mean that the landlord is off the hook because the landlord or the party in control of the property has a non-delegable duty to take care of the property. It means that if the snow removal company does a lousy job, that does not relieve the liability of the party who owns or controls the property.

Are There Examples Where The Store Property Owner Would Likely Not Be Held Liable?

If someone drops a jar of spaghetti sauce on the floor in the supermarket and someone is following right behind and steps on the spaghetti sauce that came out of the broken jar, the proprietor would not have had, in all likelihood, sufficient time to clean up the mess or to post warning signs of a wet floor. The proprietor would be, and should be, allowed a reasonable opportunity to resolve the dangerous condition.

However, if the spaghetti sauce jars fall and brake because they were on a shelf that was overstocked or on an end cap display that was not set up correctly, then the proprietor would likely be held responsible. These kinds of cases can be very intense in terms of drilling down and getting to the bottom of exactly what happened and what the timing sequence was. Many supermarkets, in particular, have video surveillance. They have people who walk through and sweep logs to document that they have inspected different areas at different times. There are some fairly sophisticated methods that store operators use to monitor what is going on. One needs to have the knowledge and experience to get access to that kind of information.

Read about some of the Factors That Need To Be Present in Order To Win a Slip And Fall Injury Claim. Call the law offices of Casper & de Toledo in Stamford, Connecticut for an initial consultation at (203) 325-8600 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.