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Who Is Legally Responsible for Slip and Fall Accidents and Why?

Individuals and companies that own and operate businesses have a legal duty/responsibility to make reasonable efforts to ensure that their premises are safe for customers and other people who have a right to come on their property. If this duty is broken, a commercial property owner can be liable to a person who suffers an injury.

Some examples of commercial property owners are:

  • Supermarkets
  • Giant department stores
  • Strip malls
  • Restaurants
  • Owners of multi-family housing
  • Apartment complexes
  • Condominium associations

The breach of this duty can consist of not making adequate inspections of its premises; it can consist of failure to make repairs to premises when the owner knew of an unsafe condition, or that it should have discovered with a reasonable inspection; and it can consist of a failure to warn of a dangerous condition, such as failing to put up a wet floor sign.

Examples of the types of cases which can give rise to liability are:

  • The failure to make regular inspections of the produce section in a supermarket to avoid fruit or vegetables falling to the floor.
  • The failure to repair sidewalks in front of a store.
  • The failure to fix torn carpeting; the failure to adequately mop and dry the floor of a restaurant.
  • The failure to adequately plow a parking lot.
  • The failure to salt, sand or otherwise treat a parking lot or a walkway with ice melt.

The mere happening of a fall by itself, without a a specific reason does not give rise to liability on the part of the property owner. If someone slips and falls, the injured party must be able to state what casued them to fall or there is no case.

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