Articles Posted in Slip and Fall Accidents

Palm Beach County has launched a program to assist older adults with improving strength and balance in an effort to reduce their risks of fall injuries.nursing home abuse

Unintentional falls are the leading cause of deadly injuries among Florida senior citizens. In fact, for many South Florida EMS departments, falls are the most common emergency calls for help. Because Florida is home to a large number of tourists, winter residents, and relocated retirees, many of the calls for help come from concerned out-of-state relatives who cannot reach their elderly loved ones.

Data from the Area Agency on Aging illustrates the yearly toll of fall injuries in Palm Beach County: nearly 250 deaths, 5,000 hospitalizations, and over 14,000 emergency room visits.  That equates to nearly 40 emergency room visits every day from falls in Palm Beach County alone.

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A Florida appellate court recently affirmed summary judgment favoring warehouse giant Costco in a slip-and-fall lawsuit filed by a woman who broke her knee after falling inside a Miami store.slip and fall

The primary reason the case failed was because, the court held, plaintiff had not produced evidence indicating that store staffers had knowledge of the liquid substance on its entrance way floor.

The element of a store owner’s knowledge regarding a slippery substance on the floor is outlined specifically in F.S. 768.0755. This provision requires plaintiffs in Florida slip-and-fall cases to prove either actual or constructive knowledge on the part of the defendant. Actual knowledge would be if a store staffer created the condition or if they had been informed about it directly. Constructive knowledge is a little trickier, but can be established with circumstantial evidence that shows the condition listed long enough the store should have discovered it in using ordinary care or that the condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.

In this case, according to Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals, plaintiff accompanied a neighbor to Costco, a store to which she had never been. When they got there, plaintiff’s neighbor went to get a shopping cart and plaintiff began walking toward the entrance. As she walked, she felt her right leg go out from underneath her, and she fell onto her left knee – breaking it.  Continue reading ›

A man who tripped and fell at a large chain store while purchasing a watermelon has won a $7.5 million verdict against the store. slip and fall attorney

The incident happened in Alabama, and a local jury decided the premises liability lawsuit in his favor, awarding him $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

According to, the plaintiff was shopping at a when he reached into a container to pull out a watermelon to put in his shopping card. However, he reportedly tripped and his foot became lodged in a wooden pallet that was the floor. He fell, suffering numerous injuries, including a broken hip. According to plaintiff attorneys, the container of watermelons was situated on a wooden pallet that was not visible upon approach. Although plaintiff didn’t step onto the wooden pallet, his foot slid into a side opening as he pulled out the melon and got stuck. Then when he turned to put the melon the cart, his foot was immobile and he fell.  Continue reading ›

In any negligence action, the plaintiff (person who was hurt) must prove several key elements. Those are:

  • Duty
  • Breach
  • Causation
  • Damagesslip and fall

Slip-and-fall injuries can give rise to negligence lawsuits, though every aspect must be met. Landowners owe a duty of care to visitors, and businesses that invite members of the public on site for commercial gain owe the highest duty of care. That duty may be breached when a property is not  maintained in a reasonably safe condition.

Recently, the Wyoming Supreme Court weighed a slip-and-fall lawsuit that trial court had dismissed for failure to raise genuine issues of material fact. The state supreme court reversed, sending the case back on track to trial and giving the plaintiff another shot to prove her case.

Although slip-and-fall case law and statutes may vary from state-to-state, it’s worth exploring how the issue is approached in other jurisdictions.  Continue reading ›

Businesses in Florida have a responsibility to their patrons to make sure the site is reasonably safe and there are no concealed dangers. If there are hazards, the property owner/ manager has a duty to warn patrons about it so they can protect themselves. pallets

This is the crux of premises liability law in Florida. However, it’s not without exception. In addition to F.S. 768.0755, which limits the conditions under which a property owner can be liable for slip-and-fall injuries, case law has established that businesses are not responsible for warning patrons about dangers that may be open and obvious. This is widely recognized affirmative defense in premises liability cases known as the “open and obvious doctrine.” Essentially, people have a responsibility to use reasonable care to avoid injury. A defendant (business) may not be liable where plaintiff (the injured person) acts in a manner that disregards ordinary caution or reasonable care in the face of a known or obvious dangerous condition.

In a recent case before Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal, justices affirmed summary judgment in favor of defendant in trip-and-fall case wherein a plaintiff tripped over an empty pallet just outside the entrance/ exit doors of a grocery store.  Continue reading ›

Some people go to the beach fearing only the small chance they’ll encounter a shark close to shore. In fact, there are a number of other more serious hazards on land. boardwalk

That’s what one man found while visiting Myrtle Beach, SC. According to a local news report, the man was staying at a local hotel in August 2014. As he leaned on a railing of a narrow boardwalk leading onto the sand, the railing gave out. The man fell off the walkway and is now suing the City of Myrtle Beach, the entity that owns and maintains the pathways that lead to the beach.

In his premises liability lawsuit, the man alleges the boardwalk was not properly built in the first place, and thereafter was not properly maintained. However, the city is relying on the state’s recreational use statute. Florida has one too. Basically, if a landowner allows their property to be used free of charge for public recreation, the rights of those people to sue the entity or company for negligence are significantly undercut. In fact, the only way to prevail is to assert gross negligence. In this case, it would mean gross negligence in the way the boardwalk was designed, constructed or kept. Plaintiff’s attorneys say they believe their case is strong.  Continue reading ›

Holiday shopping is seen by some as an enjoyable way to get into the seasonal spirit. Others view it as more of a stressful chore. But in both cases, it should be safe. Unfortunately, our Fort Myers injury attorneys have seen too many cases of holiday shoppers suffering some type of injury due to a failure by property owners, managers or employees to keep the site free of unreasonable hazards. holiday shopping

These dangers might include:

  • Perilously-stacked merchandise;
  • Slippery floors;
  • Poorly illuminated parking lots;
  • Broken stairs;
  • Uneven sidewalks;
  • Inadequate security;
  • Cluttered aisles.

These incidents can result in serious – and sometimes disabling – injuries to shoppers. Yes, customers do have a responsibility to be on the lookout for obvious dangers and to avoid them using reasonable care. But as part of a legal classification of visitors known as “business invitees,” shoppers are owed the highest duty of care under the law. That means property owners must not only avoid creating hazards and address them when they become known, but also to regularly inspect the site for them.  Continue reading ›

Leonard Cohen, a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet, novelist and painter, was reportedly at peace with the idea of death, hoping only it wouldn’t be too “uncomfortable.” The icon, author of “Hallelujah,” died in his sleep last month. However, his manager later revealed that the 82-year-old’s death may have been linked to an earlier fall, which he had suffered prior to his death. cane

With our population living longer, the threat of a serious fall affects an increasing number of us. Although many of us tend not to think of falls as being all that serious, the reality is falls are the No. 1 cause of accidental death in the elderly. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the incidence rate has climbed steadily in the last 10 years. Often, falls are not just painful in the immediate aftermath, but also for months and even years afterward.

The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery reports the 1-year mortality rate for over-65 patients admitted to the hospital following a fall is 33 percent. Many times, a bad fall that results in an elderly person being admitted to the hospital can have a prognosis that is as poor as some stage IV cancers. Of course, those who are hospitalized are more likely to have higher rates of mortality as it is, because they are older and have a number of other serious conditions. But comparatively, the one-year mortality rate for older patients admitted with pneumonia is about 20 percent.  Continue reading ›

A woman was shopping for plants on a steamy summer afternoon in Las Vegas three years ago when she slipped and fell on a puddle of water. Upon falling, she smacked her head on the concrete floor of the outdoor facility. plantsale1

She suffered serious injuries, including a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury. She is no longer able to smell or taste. For the rest of her life, these are pleasures the mother-of-three will no longer derive.

Now, she is seeking compensatory and punitive damages from the store, arguing her slip-and-fall injury was foreseeable and preventable and the store owed a duty to make the site safe for customers. In order to succeed in a claim for punitive damages, one needs to show not only was defendant negligent, but that defendant was grossly negligent or displayed wanton or reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of others. Here, plaintiffs argue this is proven based on the fact there were 33 prior incidents at other stores within the chain in which people slipped and fell in the outdoor garden sales area.  Continue reading ›

Sidewalks are intended to be a place where pedestrians can safely traverse without fear of stepping into the path of an oncoming car or bicyclist.sidealk1

But there are still hazards. Vehicles backing out. Vehicles careening off the road. Beyond that, the walking surface itself has the potential to be dangerous if it is not kept in acceptable condition, with tree roots or other defects resulting in cracks, uneven surfaces and protrusions.

In the event a Fort Myers sidewalk fall results in injury, plaintiffs may have a couple options. The first is to ascertain whose responsibility it was to maintain the sidewalk.  Continue reading ›

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