Experienced Brockton, Taunton Personal Injury Lawyer
Our knowledgeable and experienced Greater Boston premises liability / owner negligence personal injury lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Massachusetts, including but not limited to Plymouth County, Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Hyannis, Falmouth, Barnstable and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, Revere, Dorchester, Roxbury.
Just because a customer in a business establishment slips and falls on a wet and slippery floor it doesn’t mean that that the business owner is responsible for the fall and injury. However, there usually is a cause of action when the wet condition on the floor that caused your injuries was the result of the cleaning and mopping activity performed by the business owner or his or hers employee. In these situations, the defendant knows about the wet, slippery dangerous condition on the floor and as a result has a duty to warn public visitors of the potential hazard.
Liability can be established if it is shown that an employee applied the wax, polishing material or cleaning detergent to the floor making the floor wet or slippery and the business establishment allowed the public to walk on the floor before the wax, polish or cleaning detergent had time to dry. In these situations the business should take measures to block off the entire area that is being cleaned so customers wont be exposed to the hazardous slippery conditions. Businesses should also post adequate warning signs that will put customers on notice that the floors are being cleaned or have recently been cleaned.
Slips and falls can result in serious, and even debilitating and permanent injuries, including spinal cord injuries, head or even brain trauma. Fractures, torn ligaments, and soft tissue damage also often result from slip and fall accidents and can lead to high medical bills, lost income, and, especially in cases involving the elderly, a painful and lengthy recovery process.
A negligent property owner that exposes someone to hazardous conditions should be held responsible for the medical bills and pain and suffering endured because of his lack of care. Attorney Noonan firmly believes this and he will zealously pursue your interests.
Duty of Care, Duty to Maintain and Foreign Substances on Floors
Slip and falls occurring in business establishments usually result from a foreign substance on the floor. A landowner must exercise reasonable care (a “duty to maintain”) in maintaining the premises in a safe condition. At the very least he is obligated to warn visitors of any defects that are known to him and his employees or should be known to him and his employees.
In order to establish negligence and liability for injuries resulting from a slip and fall on a wet, slippery substance left on the floor of a business establishment your lawyer must show:
- The landowner defendant or one of his employees caused the substance to be present on the floor (usually by mopping or cleaning the floor with detergent, or if they actually created the slip by dropping a beverage etc.) or
- The landowner defendant or one of his employees actually knew the foreign substance was present on the floor (say, if, the owner or an employee actually sees the wet, slippery substance personally -i.e. spilt soda bottle in aisle outside employee break room or view of store security cameras- or is told by a customer that it is on the floor), or
- The foreign substance was on the landowner defendant’s floor for such a length of time that he or his employees should have known about it (The fact that the ice cubes, popsicles or ice cream had completely melted or that an apple or banana was squashed and rotten can indicate that the foreign substances had been on the floor long enough to melt or spoil rotten), or
- The victim’s attorney present presents evidence which shows that the foreign substance had been on the ground for such a length of time that an employee, exercising reasonable care in the administration of is or her duties, should have been aware of its presence and taken steps to remove it or warn the customers. (A store with many employees some of which are required and responsible for monitoring the store, cleaning up spills and keeping the store in a safe condition should be held accountable for not performing their duties. If there are many employees and a spill of foreign slippery substance was on the floor for a long time or out in the open and located close to where the employees worked then it is safe to assume that if the employees had exercised reasonable care in performing their duties they would have noticed the hazard on the floor and taken steps to clean it up), or
- (1) The business operated under a self-service mode (a grocery store where customers walk the aisles and pick items from a fruit or vegetable display); (2) the condition that caused the injury was reasonably foreseeable to regularly occur as a result of the mode of operation regardless of whether it was caused by an employee or patron (It’s foreseeable that a customer picking grapes from a fruit/vegetable display in a grocery store might accidentally knock one or two grapes on the floor and that someone might slip on those grapes); (3) that the owner knew that customers were likely to regularly knock items off the fruit/vegetable display onto the floor; and (4) lastly, knowing that grapes were regularly knocked on the floor the business owner failed to take steps to prevent the grapes from falling on the floor (the owner may be could have add a lip to the end of the fruit display to prevent grapes from rolling off).
So if the defendant landowner or his employee didn’t create the dangerous condition, you can still hold the owner accountable by showing that the defendant landowner actually knew about the wet, slippery condition or that the wet, slippery substance was on the floor for such a length of time that he should have known about it. Sometimes the type of foreign substance might allow an attorney to show that the defendant’s employee created the condition or that the wet condition had been on the floor so long that the employee of owner should have known about it. The location of the foreign substance on the floor might be enough to show that an employee should have known of its existence. It’s likely an employee standing at a store front all day greeting shoppers should know about a foreign substances located on the floor near the entrance. Also, the manner in which the business operates may serve to put the business owner and its employees on notice that particular hazards are likely to occur given the manner in which the business operates.
Greater Boston Slip & Fall Accident Attorneys • Free Consultation
Gerald J. Noonan is an experienced personal injury attorney based in Brockton, MA with more than 30 years of legal and trial experience. Over the course of these three decades attorney Noonan has helped countless victims of slip and fall accidents receive the financial compensation they deserve. He has successfully battled insurance companies for years. Insurance companies know it is our job to make sure property holders are held accountable for their negligence. More important to our clients, is that insurance companies know to take us seriously when we get involved.
No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call the experienced slip and fall accident lawyers now to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.