Articles Posted in Slip and Fall Injuries

stairs_away_gradually_rise-683x1024Sometimes, commonplace items such as stairs can lead to serious injuries. This case involves the unfortunate situation of a woman who fell down stairs and was injured. Under what circumstances can a building owner be held responsible for injuries from falling down the stairs? 

Earline Couvillion fell on stairs while leaving a building owned by Riverside Properties. The stairs were made of cement. The stairs were frayed on the edges and did not have a handrail. Couvillion claimed she herniated discs in her back, strained and cut her knee, and damaged her nerves as a result of her fall down the stairs. 

Couvillion filed a lawsuit against Riverside Properties and their insurer, claiming their negligence resulted in her accident. She claimed Riverside Properties had failed to maintain and keep the stairs safe, had not installed handrails, and had otherwise been negligent. Riverside Properties filed a summary judgment motion, which the district court granted. Couvillion appealed.

spur_gasoline_station-1024x681If you slip and fall at a car dealership because of wet floors, you might think you have a slam dunk case. However, if the condition that caused your fall might be considered open and obvious, you could face an uphill battle. 

Anna Landry took her vehicle to Leson Chevrolet in Harvey, Louisiana, to receive regular service. On her drive there, it started raining. An employee told her to park her car in one of the four service bays. When Landry got out of her car, she stepped onto the floor and immediately fell. She subsequently went to the emergency room, where she learned she had broken her tailbone. Landry filed a lawsuit against Leson, claiming she fell because of their slick and wet floors. She said the excess water and puddles were a hazardous condition, so she was entitled to damages for negligence and premises liability. 

Leson filed a summary judgment motion, claiming they were not liable for Landry’s injuries under La. R.S. 9:2800.6 because any water was an open and obvious condition. Leson also argued Landry did not have any evidence that Leson had constructive or actual notice of the allegedly hazardous condition. Landry argued summary judgment was inappropriate because there were genuine issues of material fact. For example, testimony from Leson employees indicated Leson did not have any policies in place for maintaining the floor of their service bays and did not warn customers of potentially hazardous conditions. The trial court granted Leson’s summary judgment motion. Landry appealed. 

casino_note_roadway_mark-1024x683When you enter a store or place of public accommodation as a customer, there is a certain expectation of safety. Many customers expect stores to provide clean bathrooms and a slip-free environment. This, however, was not the case for Valencia Lewis when she was walking through a New Orleans casino. 

Lewis was walking through Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans when she slipped and fell on the marble floor. After her fall, Lewis’s husband and son came to help her back to her feet. Lewis, her husband, and her son reported seeing “a little white stuff” on the floor. A Harrah’s employee identified this substance as a “smushed grape.” Ms. Mayshack, Harrah’s on-duty supervisor, noted that a substance “like melted cheese” was on the floor after Lewis’s fall. Another employee, however, reported that he did not see any smashed fruit on the ground after Lewis’s fall. During discovery, a video depicting Lewis’s fall was produced. This video, however, did not show any substance on the ground before Lewis’s fall. 

In her complaint, Lewis alleged that Jazz Casino, owner, and operator of Harrah’s, failed to (1) properly maintain the premises, (2) provide a reasonably safe surface for customers to walk on, (3) provide any warning of the dangerous condition and (4) inspect the area where Lewis was injured. Jazz Casino filed for summary judgment, arguing that there was no factual support for several elements of Lewis’s claim under Lousianna’s Merchant Liability Statute La. R.S. 9:2800.6. For instance, Jazz Casino argued that Lewis could not show whether (1) the food on the floor presented an unreasonable risk of harm that was reasonably foreseeable; (2) Jazz Casino created the risk of harm or had actual or constructive notice of the condition before Ms. Lewis’s fall, and (3) Jazz Casino failed to exercise reasonable care to keep the aisles and walkways free of hazardous conditions.

storm_drain_drain_snow-1024x577Imagine walking through your neighborhood only to be seriously injured from tripping over a wire frame on a storm drain. The following case considers whether such a condition is open and obvious. This is an important consideration because if a condition is found to be open and obvious, then defendants do not have a duty to protect people from the condition. 

Theresa Granier and Linda Pace were walking on the sidewalk in their subdivision in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They reached the end of the sidewalk and turned left to cross the street. While walking, they tried to step over a storm drain attached to the curb. They both purportedly stepped onto a wire frame, called an inlet protector, covering the drain’s opening. As a result, they tripped and fell on the street and were seriously injured. 

Granier and Pace then filed a lawsuit against Alvarez Construction Company, the developer of the subdivision as well as its insurer, Navigator Specialty Insurance Company. In the lawsuit, they claimed Alvarez was negligent because the inlet protector was in its control and created an unreasonable risk of injury. 

hole_dark_light_black-1024x685Homeowners often have to deal with contractors, such as plumbers, completing work in their homes or yard. What happens when a homeowner is injured from a condition on the property the contractor created? The following case helps answer that question. 

Donald and Marilyn Lincoln hired Acadian Plumbing & Drain to go under their Metairie, Louisiana home and replace its drain lines. A few weeks after Acadian started the work, Marilyn Lincoln walked outside and fell into a hole Acadian had dug to access the pipes under their home. She injured her hip or leg and had to have surgery. 

The Lincolns filed a lawsuit against Acadian and its insurer. They claimed Acadian was negligent for not sufficiently securing or barricading the hole in the yard and for not warning them of the danger. While the lawsuit was still ongoing, Marilyn Lincoln passed away. Her son claimed her death resulted from a stroke caused by a blot clot that formed because of her injuries from falling into the hole and her resulting surgery. 

defense_gov_news_photo_526-1024x680When renting an apartment, tenants expect a safe and secure living environment. However, what happens when an accident occurs due to negligence by the apartment owner and management company? If a leaky roof in your apartment injures you, can you make a claim for your injuries? The following lawsuit answers that question. 

Kim Faciane lived in the Golden Key Apartments. After moving out, she filed a lawsuit against Golden Key, who owned the apartment complex, and Ohio Management, who managed the complex, and its insurer (collectively, the defendants). She claimed one night, while asleep in her apartment, sheetrock fell from the ceiling because of the leak. She claimed it hit her leg and caused her to slip and injure her back and neck. She claimed the defendants were liable because they kept the apartment in disrepair, did not repair the ceiling after being informed it leaked, and otherwise not properly maintaining or inspecting the apartments. 

The defendants filed a summary judgment motion, arguing that the lease had a provision that required Faciane to hold them harmless for any property or personal injury claims. They argued under La. R.S. 9:3221, Faciane was responsible for the premises’ conditions unless they were neglectful or failed to take action after she notified them in writing of a defect. They argued they did not know of any issues with the roof until after the accident occurred. Faciane countered the defendants had been notified about issues with the apartment’s ceiling at least two times before. The trial court granted the defendants’ summary judgment motion and dismissed Faciane’s lawsuit, who appealed.

roofers_job_people_roof-1024x683When accidents occur on a construction site, questions of liability and responsibility arise, leaving property owners wondering about their potential legal obligations. In a compelling lawsuit from Alexandria, Louisiana, the issue of whether a homeowner can be held liable for injuries sustained by a roofer while working on their property takes center stage. The case of Robert Schram v. Ronnie Waters provides valuable insights into this perplexing matter, shedding light on the factors determining a homeowner’s liability when a roofer falls from their roof.

Robert Schram, an employee of Dan Baker, slipped and fell while working on a tin roof. He fell while trying to catch a nail gun thrown from the ground causing him to break his ankle. He sued the property owner, Ronnie Waters, and his insurer Colony Specialty Insurance Company (Colony), claiming Waters was liable for his injuries because he was supposed to provide the necessary safety materials for the job. 

The trial court granted Colony’s and Waters’s joint motion for summary judgment to dismiss the claims, which found no genuine issue of fact on the question of Waters’s liability. Schram appealed, claiming the trial judge committed a legal error in his decision because there are three issues of material fact concerning Waters’s negligence.

man_person_street_sidewalk-1024x683Parents can imagine all sorts of dangerous situations their children could find themselves in walking to school – kidnappings, getting hit by a car, bullying. But what happens if the cause of the injury was a defective sidewalk the city was supposed to maintain? Can the city be held liable? The following case examines the liability of a city when a teenager is injured due to a defective sidewalk in front of her high school.

While fifteen-year-old Cora Minix was walking to her high school in Rayne, Louisiana, she fell on a sidewalk in front of the school and was injured. Her parents filed a lawsuit against the City of Rayne, claiming the sidewalk’s concrete was cracked and shifted as Minix walked on it, causing her to fall. 

The city claimed the sidewalk’s condition was open and obvious and not unreasonably dangerous. At a trial, the court ruled in favor of the City of Rayne, finding the sidewalk’s defect was open and obvious and did not present an unreasonable risk of harm. Further, the city did not have actual or constructive knowledge of the sidewalk’s defect. The Minixes appealed. 

computed_tomography_human_brain-1024x730You might be eligible for workers’ compensation if you are injured on the job. However, you must be honest in your communications with your employer and medical providers because, under Louisiana law, you forfeit your rights to any such benefits if you make misrepresentations or false statements concerning your workers’ compensation scheme. What happens if these misrepresentations appear to result from memory impairments related to your on-the-job injury? The following lawsuit helps answer this question.

While working as a security guard at the Golden Nugget Casino, Katina Hodges fainted and fell to the floor. Her legs and knee hit the floor. She hit her head on the floor and appeared to have seizures. At Christus St. Patrick Hospital in Lake Charles, Louisiana, a CT scan showed she suffered a hemorrhage in her brain. Hodges subsequently received treatment for her injuries, which included aggravations of preexisting conditions. 

Golden Nugget filed a Notice of Controversion, claiming it did not owe Hodges anything because ha fainting spell caused her injuries. Hodges claimed she had passed out, fell, and was injured while working. In response, Golden Nugget claimed Hodges had forfeited any benefits under La. R.S. 23:1208 because she had made misrepresentations associated with her claim. The matter went to trial before the Workers’ Compensation Judge, who ruled that Hodges’ fall was an accident and she had suffered injuries caused by the accident. Golden Nugget was ordered to pay temporary disability benefits, supplemental earnings benefits, medical benefits, a penalty of $2,000 for failing to pay Hodges’ indemnity benefits, a penalty of $2,000 for failing to pay Hodges’ medical expenses and $25,000 in attorney fees. Golden Nugget appealed. 

penitentiary_jail_police_crime-1024x768Jails are supposed to be safe for the people in them and can’t expose inmates to unnecessary risk of injury. Even though prisons are not required to be legally comfortable, they must still provide safe living conditions. If someone gets hurt because of unsafe conditions in jail, they can seek relief from the county. This relief may come in different forms, but the inmate must follow administrative procedures outlined in the jail handbook or other administrative guides before filing a lawsuit.

Korey Bossier had water running through his jail cell from a nearby shower that he slipped on and injured himself. As a result, he filed a lawsuit against the Lafayette parish sheriff and jail for a tort action. At the trial court, the jail claimed the handbook had specific administrative remedies for grievances that Bossier did not undertake. The trial court threw out the case because Bossier did not follow specific administrative procedures outlined in the jail handbook before filing the lawsuit. Bossier appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to review his case. 

In his appeal, Bossier argued the jail handbook does not have any section on administrative steps for an inmate to take when submitting a tort action or grievance. The only language in the grievance handbook does not clearly state any proscribed administrative remedies. The jail read the same section of the handbook as requiring a grievance report to be filed before any tort action can occur in a state court. The appeals court reviewed the trial court’s decision to see if the lower court correctly applied the law.

Contact Information