Articles Posted in Slip and Fall

addiction_bet_betting_casino-scaledLawsuits involving slip and fall accidents are widespread. However, specific requirements must be satisfied to prevail in a slip-and-fall case. The following lawsuit helps answer the question: Can a business be held liable if a patron slips and falls on a wet walkway? 

While walking with her son in the Treasure Chest Casino parking lot, Linda Cangelosi slipped and fell under the outdoor tent that covered part of the walkway entrance into the casino. Cangelosi slipped while stepping from the roadway to the walkway. At the time of her fall, the ground was wet, with puddles. After he fell, employees of Treasure Chest Casino assisted Cangelosi and called an emergency team. Cangelosi declined their offer to transport her to the hospital and continued to the casino. However, about 45 minutes later, she left because her hip hurt. She consulted with a doctor, who provided her with pain medication. Since the accident, Cangelosi had to use a walker and has been in pain. Cangelosi filed a lawsuit against Treasure Chest Casino. Both Cangelosi and Treasure Chest Casino filed motions for summary judgment. The trial court granted Treasure Chest Casino’s summary judgment motion. Cangelosi appealed. 

Under La. C.C. art. 2317, the owner of a thing is liable for damage if they knew or should have known about the defect that causes damage, which could have been prevented if the owner had exercised reasonable care. Further, under La. C.C. art. 2322, this also applies to building owners. Therefore, if Cangelosi provided sufficient evidence that Treasure Chest Casino knew or should have known about the wet walkway that caused her slip and did not act reasonably, she could prevail in her lawsuit.

sidewalk_texture_background_1089989-scaledWhen it comes to personal injury claims resulting from slips, trips, or falls, the concept of open and obvious defects plays a significant role. Failing to act reasonably or being harmed by an apparent defect may hinder your ability to recover compensation for your injuries. This case exemplifies the importance of these factors in determining liability.

Ray Eskine was a permanently disabled individual who used a walker to move around.  When trying to see how long the grass was on his lot across the street, he walked across an elevated walkway in front of his house. One of the wheels on his walker slipped, causing him to fall into a ditch and get injured. 

Eskine and his wife filed a lawsuit against the City of Gretna and its insurer, claiming the walkway was defective and presented an unreasonably dangerous condition. They claimed the City of Gretna was responsible for the care of the walkway and had knowledge of the defective condition that resulted in his injury. 

accident_injury_risk_banana_0-scaledWhen you make a quick run to the store, the last thing you expect is to be injured while shopping. If you slip and fall at a store, you might expect the store to be responsible for any injuries you might have suffered. However, Louisiana law requires that a store have actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous condition to be held liable. Therefore, if you are considering filing a lawsuit against a store for a slip-and-fall accident, it is essential to provide evidence of the store’s knowledge so your claim does not get dismissed.  

Quentella Batiste was shopping with her granddaughter at Vernon’s Supermarket in Lutcher, Louisiana. Batiste slipped and fell in a puddle of water in the beer and beverage aisle as she was headed to check out at the front of the store. She injured her shoulder, which required surgery. Batiste and her husband filed a lawsuit against Vernon’s Supermarket and its insurer.

Vernon’s Supermarket filed a summary judgment motion, arguing the Batistes could not prove Vernon’s Supermarket created or actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous condition of the purported water on the floor, as required under the Louisiana Merchant Liability Statute, La. R.S. 9:2800.6. Vernon’s Supermarket provided deposition testimony where Baptiste said she did not know where the substance she slipped on came from, how long it had been there, or whether anyone at the store knew the substance was present before she fell. They also provided surveillance footage and testimony from several employees to support Vernon Supermarket’s claim no one knew about the substance before Batiste’s fall. 

slip_up_danger_careless-scaledImagine attending a routine medical appointment at your local doctor’s office. You enter the premises expecting a standard check-up, but unexpectedly, you trip over a defective threshold and fall onto a hard terrazzo floor. This unsettling scenario is precisely what Lois J. Tate encountered in their accident, sparking a personal injury action against Touro Infirmary and Louisiana Children’s Medical Center. The Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the Trial Court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the defendants, Touro Infirmary, and Louisiana Children’s Medical Center.

In a life-altering event, Tate tripped over what she claimed to be a defective threshold at the office of Dr. Shelton Barnes. The office was located in a building leased from Touro Infirmary. This unexpected fall led to injuries, which prompted Tate to file a lawsuit for damages based on negligence and strict liability against the defendants, including Touro Infirmary, Louisiana Children’s Medical Center, and Dr. Shelton Barnes. Tate’s claim encountered a significant challenge when the Trial Court granted summary judgment favoring the defendants. Tate could not prove a crucial element of her claim—Touro’s knowledge of the alleged defect. Undeterred, Tate appealed the decision.

Under Louisiana law, a summary judgment is applied when there’s no genuine dispute regarding a critical fact that could influence the relief a litigant seeks. To successfully contest a summary judgment, a plaintiff cannot only rely on allegations or speculation. They must present substantial proof of a genuine issue of material fact. For Tate, this involved demonstrating Touro’s awareness of the defect. Simon v. Hillensbeck.

jail_bars_old_historyA personal injury claim requires following specific rules and procedures to ensure a fair and just resolution. For Joseph Barlow, who slipped and fell while detained at the Lafayette Correctional Facility, his failure to adhere to the correction center’s administrative remedies became critical. This article examines the consequences Barlow faced when he disregarded the proper procedures and highlights the significance of following the established protocols.

Joseph Barlow was detained at the Lafayette Correctional Facility, where he slipped and fell in a puddle of water on two different occasions. Barlow claims an open pipe allowed water to overflow onto the floor. He filed a lawsuit against the Director of Corrections for Lafayette Parish, the Sheriff of Lafayette Parish, and the insurance company for injuries sustained to his neck and back. The defendants filed an exception of prematurity, claiming Barlow did not look at all of the remedies provided by the correction center’s handbook. The defendants also filed an exception of prescription and abandonment. A trial court sustained all of the defendants’ motions, and Barlow’s claims were dismissed. Barlow appealed.

In the appeal, Barlow claimed the trial court erred in granting the exception of prematurity. He first argued the handbook did not mention the procedures for injury claims resulting from negligence. He then argued the defendants had notice of the danger from the pipe. Lastly, Barlow claimed he did not receive an up-to-date handbook and was not informed of its alterations.

slip_heads_up_warningPersonal injury cases are notorious for their intricate nature, often posing challenges in determining fault and establishing liability. Complications escalate further when discrepancies arise regarding the facts surrounding the incident. When blame is uncertain, and parties refuse to accept responsibility, the legal landscape becomes increasingly convoluted. 

A recent Louisiana Court of Appeals case offered a detailed examination of an issue of material fact in determining fault in a personal injury lawsuit. By exploring the court’s decision and the supporting evidence, we gain insight into the complexities inherent in such cases and their implications on a motion for summary judgment.

James Palmisano fell at work due to the water in the hallway. Palmisano alleged that the water leaked from the men’s and women’s toilets. He filed a lawsuit for his injuries, claiming two plumbing companies, Prejean and Colville Plumbing & Irrigation, Inc., were called to fix the problem but didn’t. 

chair_garden_green_hedge-scaledPersonal injury lawsuits can be complicated, especially when they involve injuries sustained while shopping. Mary Mason found herself in this situation at a Burlington store in Lafayette, Louisiana, when a chair collapsed as she sat on it, causing her to fall and sustain injuries. Despite suing Burlington and claiming negligence, her case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence. This case highlights the importance of having experienced legal counsel to guide you through the lawsuit process. It also answers the question, what is Res Ipsa Loquitor?

Mrs. Mason and her husband visited the Burlington store in Lafayette on Ambassador Caffery Parkway. While Mrs. Mason waited in the car, her husband entered the store. After waiting for some time, Mrs. Mason entered the store to find her husband. As she walked by a chair display, she decided to test out one of the chairs on the platform. Unfortunately, as Mrs. Mason sat down, the chair collapsed, and she fell and hit the platform. She was on the phone with her husband at the time.

A store manager and Mr. Mason entered the area where Mrs. Mason fell. They determined Mrs. Mason’s fall was due to no screws in the chair’s back legs. The store manager removed the faulty chair, so the Masons took photos of it. Mrs. Mason also signed an incident report before leaving the store.

prison_prison_window_window-scaledWhen prison officials do nothing to fix a large hole that leaks onto the floor in a jail cell, could the inmate have a claim for cruel and unusual punishment? The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals case answers no. Many instances of inmates complaining about mistreatment are not uncommon to hear about, but when do we draw the line from complaints to unusual punishment? The subsequent lawsuit helps us answer this question of Eighth Amendment rights violations.

Ceasar Shannon was a Dixon Correctional Institute prisoner for over three years. The cell he was in had a large hole in the ceiling that would leak water when it rained. Shannon, along with other inmates, had made many complaints to maintenance requesting it to be fixed. Many times the guards just put buckets to catch the water dripping. One of these times, Shannon woke up at night to use the bathroom and slipped and fell on the puddle from the leak. Shannon suffered injuries to his back, shoulder, and hip.

Shannon filed a lawsuit against the Louisiana prison official under 42 U.S.C § 1983 action in federal district court. Under 42 U.S.C § 1983 a person can seek remedies against others who violated their constitutional rights. Shannon claimed the prison guards were aware of the hole in the wall and did nothing to fix the problem, thus showing deliberate indifference to Shannon’s health and safety, violating his Eight Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment. In response, the State filed a motion to dismiss. The State claimed slip-and-fall cases are negligence claims, not actionable under § 1983. The district court held in favor of the State. Unhappy with the district court’s ruling, Shannon appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

ford_e_series_wagon_10-1-scaledIf you are walking down the aisle of a store and fall and injure yourself, you may think you have a winning lawsuit. However, that is not always the case. A recent lawsuit out of Gretna, Louisiana, establishes what a plaintiff needs to prove when filing a slip-and-fall lawsuit in Louisiana. 

Terry Collins was walking down one of the lumber aisles in a Home Depot in Gretna, Louisiana when he slipped and fell on a liquid substance spilled on the floor. Home Depot and ISS Facility Services, Inc. had a Maintenance Services Agreement and before Collins fell, ISS employees used a floor-cleaning machine around where Collins slipped. Following the accident, Collins and his wife filed a lawsuit against Home Depot and ISS.

Home Depot moved for summary judgment, asking the court to decide in its favor based on the current facts. Home Depot argued under La. R.S. 9:2800.6. Collins failed to prove Home Depot had actual or constructive notice, meaning Home Depot employees were actually aware of or should have been aware of the spilled liquid in the aisle. 

manhole_manhole_cover_cable-scaledIf you fall into a utility box with no cover, one would likely think they can recover for the damages they endured. However, in Louisiana, lawsuits aren’t as easy as you think. For example, is a company responsible for the utility box if it didn’t have “constructive notice” the ground hole cover was defective? The following lawsuit out of New Orleans shows the difficulties encountered when suing a utility company for a ground hole cover fall.

Antoine Perrier fell into a utility ground hole near the intersection of Press Drive and Haynes Boulevard. Perrier filed a lawsuit against Bellsouth Communications in which he alleged a failure to maintain the protective cover over the utility box. Perrier also noted that Bellsouth was liable due to the lack of adequate warnings of the dangerous condition of the utility hole near the busy Boulevard.

Believing they were not liable, Bellsouth filed a motion for summary judgment. Under La. C.C.P. art. 966(B)(2) a court should grant summary judgment when there is no genuine dispute of any material fact. If a plaintiff such as Perrier won’t be able to prove his case at trial then a court will dismiss it. This procedure allows for the efficient use of the court’s time. The summary judgment filed by Bellsouth, in this case, focused on constructive notice.

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