Defense Wins Slip And Fall On Basis Of Sign
If you’re wondering how a “wet floor” sign will impact your slip and fall case, the answer is that it will harm your claim. In order to understand why, you have to understand the burden of proof in premises liability claims. First, however, let’s discuss a case.
In this case, a plaintiff sued a hotel after she slipped and fell on a wet marble floor. Surveillance video showed an employee mopping the floor minutes before the accident occurred and then placing four “caution wet floor” signs near the spillage. This was enough to defeat the claim. Below, we’ll discuss why.
What is negligence in a slip and fall case?
Proprietors have a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid injury to any individual who they invite onto their premises. Customers are owed the highest duty of care. However, for a proprietor to be negligent, they must either know that the dangerous condition or, having failed to exercise normal care, should have known that the dangerous condition was present. In this case, the hotel not only knew that the dangerous condition was present, they also mopped the area and placed caution signs.
In this case, the court ruled that the proprietor had met its duty of care and the plaintiff was at fault for not paying attention to the signs.
Was this case winnable?
Based on what we know, the case was not strong. However, a sign alone isn’t enough to defeat a slip and fall claim. It certainly won’t help your case, but if an employee does the bare minimum by placing a sign in a puddle of water and then fails to remedy the dangerous condition, then the sign may not help them defeat this claim.
It’s important to understand that hotels use surveillance cameras to protect themselves from liability in these cases. So everything that happens, there will be a record of that. In many cases, this can be used to help your claim. In other cases, it will harm your claim.
Duty of care
In slip and fall cases, the duty of care is spelled out. A proprietor must have either created the dangerous condition, allowed the dangerous condition to remain after becoming aware of it, or failed to exercise due care in avoiding dangerous conditions in the first place. In this case, the hotel was ruled to have met their duty of care by mopping the floor and placing up visible signs in both English and Spanish. Ideally, all hotels would handle slip hazards like this. But accidents can still happen. Just because someone was injured, however, it doesn’t mean that the injury is legally actionable.
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Payer Law files negligence lawsuits on behalf of injury victims. Call our Miami personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin planning a litigation strategy for your claim.