Plaintiff Must Prove Causation or Personal Injury Claim Will be Dismissed

Submitted by New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

Robert Marquess v. Avalon Country Club, (App.Div. June 2, 2017) (10 pp.)

A plaintiff’s slip and fall case was recently dismissed because he failed to prove the defendants’ negligence caused his injuries.  The Trial Court dismissed the plaintiff’s case on summary judgment.  The plaintiff appealed to the Appellate Division and they affirmed the Trial Court’s decision.

In the case the plaintiff went to shower after golfing at a country club.  Before entering the shower, the plaintiff noticed a white filmy substance was all over the shower.  The substance was not slippery at first, but after the plaintiff showered for five to ten minutes, he slipped exiting and sustained serious injuries.

The plaintiff claimed that the country club negligently maintained the showers by allowing the white filmy substance to be present and cause him injury.  However, the Court ruled that the plaintiff did not prove that the substance caused him to slip and fall.  When asked how he knew the white film caused him to slip, he admitted, “I don’t.  I assume that’s what it was . . . ”  This was not enough to prove that this was the cause to his slip and fall.  He could have fallen because of the soap he was using.  Because the Court was not convinced that the white substance substantially caused the plaintiff to slip and fall, his complaint was dismissed.

In summary, a plaintiff must prove the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the harm.  The mere possibility that a defendant’s negligence may have caused the injury is not enough.  If you are injured make sure you have an experienced attorney who knows how to properly demonstrate causation in order for you to be made whole!

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