The subject of a recently concluded lawsuit was a 60 year old native of British Columbia who was injured back in December 2006 after returning from a flight at the Vancouver International Airport. Upon boarding a shuttle bus at the airport, the man lodged his foot between two steel plates located on the roadway — causing him to fall injuring his right leg and foot. The extent and precise nature of the 60 year old’s injury has not been disclosed.
However, we do know that this married man was active and frequently enjoyed activities such as hiking, golfing, walking, and vacationing in the Caribbean. Yet, post accident, all the man wants to do is sit and rest because of the significant amount of pain. All of these factors had been raised during the course of this litigation.
How did the Vancouver airport and construction company respond to these allegations? By denying that they owed the man any duty of care, while asserting that the area was reasonably safe for the public to travel. Those defendants, the airport and construction company, argued that the 60 year old was injured as a result of his own negligence. Nevertheless, the judge ultimately ruled that the two defendants were liable by breaching their duty to ensure the area was safe to travel. Recently, a hefty $680,000 was awarded to the injured man for this slip and fall on a construction site.
As a slip and fall lawyer in Miami who sues construction companies, I find it extremely important to note that this roadway had been under construction at the time. The Vancouver International Airport and the construction company hired to perform this job bears most, if not all, responsibility to maintain and keep safe the area under construction. While the laws surrounding premises liability (i.e. slip and fall) differ from state to state, and country to country for that matter, the one constant factor to consider is whether the owner or operator of the premises owes a duty of care to keep the area reasonably safe for the general public. Typically, when you are dealing with an area that is open to the public, the owner or operator of that location owes this duty of care. In the State of Florida, statute §768.0755 codifies the requirements for an injured party to prove a slip and fall case against a property owner or operator. In short, when a person slips and falls on a foreign substance, he or she must first prove that the dangerous condition was known or should have been known by the property owner or operator. Also, the business owner must take ordinary and reasonable care to keep the area safe for the general public.
Business owners, as well as construction companies, constantly weasel around this statute hoping to free themselves from liability for significant slip and fall injuries. For this very reason, I cannot stress how vital it is to immediately contact a personal injury lawyer if you should ever suffer an injury as a result of a slip and fall.
By: Brandon Stein