Slip-and-Fall Case Makes News in New York

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Nearly every day, we depend upon others to ensure our safety. Whether shopping at a grocery store or enjoying a fine dinner in one of New York City's many restaurants, we trust that the establishment will allow us to enjoy our experience without worrying about being injured.

However, some business owners or landlords simply do not keep their property free from potentially dangerous conditions. Slippery floors caused by spills or snow and ice can cause serious injuries to unknowing patrons. While slip-and-fall cases remain rather common, each case will present unique challenges which could prevent recovery.

A recent New York Court of Appeals case, Groninger v. Village of Mamaroneck, underscores some of the issues that may arise in a slip-and-fall case. Margaret Groninger was injured when she fell on some ice in a parking lot owned by the village.

The village of Mamaroneck had moved to have the case dismissed, because they believed the suit could not be brought under current New York law. They argued that since they neither received prior notice of the icy parking lot, nor created the icy conditions themselves, they could not be held liable.

The law in question specifically listed six locations which required notice, with those being sidewalks, crosswalks, streets, highways, bridges or culverts. Groninger contended that a parking lot did not fit into one of these categories, but the court disagreed. In a noteworthy decision, the court called the parking lot a highway for purposes of this particular law.

While most slip-and-fall cases do not make their way to Court of Appeals, these cases are quite complicated. People who have been injured as a result of a slip-and-fall must be able to demonstrate the extent of their injuries. Back or shoulder injuries are common in these cases, yet it can be difficult to accurately determine the extent of the injuries. Extensive rehabilitation can lead to costly medical bills, which can leave injured parties struggling to make ends meet.

If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall, it is important to note any conditions present that may have caused the fall. Take photos with a cell phone camera, and get the names of any witnesses. Businesses will be quick to change conditions back to normal, and without any evidence, it can be extremely difficult for you to prevail on your claim. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to understand the options that may be available to you.