Ross v. Charlotte Cnty. Pub. Sch., 100 So. 3d 781, 782 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2012)
This case involves a trip-and-fall incident that occurred at a school. An allegation was made by the defense which claimed that the plaintiff in this lawsuit suffered from a medical condition that helped to cause her fall.
The plaintiff in this case suffered injuries when she tripped over an exposed piece of linoleum at a school. The testimony of the plaintiff at trial indicated that she was traveling between classrooms when she encountered the issue with the flooring, causing her to fall to the ground. Following the accident, the plaintiff underwent balance training which showed that she was suffering from a vestibular problem. The testing did not state that this issue was active in the plaintiff at the time of the fall; however, the defendant claimed that it was a pre-existing condition and the actual cause of the plaintiff’s fall.
At trial, there was no evidence presented by the defendant to demonstrate that the condition existed with the plaintiff prior to her fall. In fact, there was evidence put on by the plaintiff to show that the plaintiff did not suffer from this condition, or any medical problem, before she fell down. The defendant simply alleged that the vestibular balancing problem found in the plaintiff “could” have contributed to her fall.
The court found that the defendant did not properly present a hazard analysis which showed that the plaintiff was partially at fault for her injuries. As such, a verdict was found in her favor for the damages she incurred from her injury.
Generally, the phrase ‘slip-and-fall’ is what people use when describing an accident involving person falling down and injuring themselves on another’s property. This term covers many types of falling down accidents, including when a person slips and falls, steps and falls, or trips and falls. The definition of a slip and fall accident is any occurrence on another person’s property where an individual’s footing is lost, they fall down, and are injured as a result.
These types of lawsuits occur regularly, and many times it is determined that an alleged responsible party is not actually liable. Premises liability is the law that governs these actions here in Florida. When a property owner, or an operator of a business, does not maintain the property so that their patrons or guests are safe, they may face claims of negligence. It is the job of the business owner to quickly resolve issue of hazardous conditions. If a hazardous condition exists on the property, and the business owner was aware, or should have been aware of its existence, and did nothing to repair the issue, any person who suffers an injury because of the condition can hold the business liable.
In the above case, it was clear to the court that the exposed piece of linoleum posed danger to those who walked by it. The jury determined that in fact the school should have known about the hazard as these were hallways regularly traveled by many people. The fact that the school did nothing to repair the problem made them liable to the plaintiff for her injuries.
If you’ve been injured on school grounds and feel it was due to the negligence of the property, contact the Fort Lauderdale slip and fall lawyers of Madalon Law for your free consultation.