Slip and Fall Injury from Wet Steps at Harrah’s Casino
Docket No.: A-2530-18T1
Decided July 9, 2020
Submitted by New Jersey Slip and Fall Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark
In a recent unpublished decision, the Appellate Division considered whether a landlord was required to perform criminal background checks on tenants to promote the safety of other tenants.
In Crook, Plaintiff, an employee of a liquor establishment, was attending a liquor industry convention at Harrah’s with a coworker and his boss during the March 2015 evening of this fall. The convention was held in an area known as the Pool After Dark (the pool room), which plaintiff described as a large “nightclub setting” with an unoccupied pool in the middle. According to plaintiff, the pool room was dimly lit, crowded, and humid. Plaintiff, his co-worker, and his boss walked around the pool room for approximately an hour visiting various exhibit booths. When they finished visiting the booths, they walked toward a three-step stone staircase, which they had to descend. Plaintiff’s boss and co-worker descended the stairs without incident. Plaintiff, following behind, slipped on the second step, missed the last step, and landed “Indian style” on the floor, injuring his left knee.
Plaintiff explained that after he fell, he noticed moisture on the step. Asked to describe what he meant by moisture, he replied: “Like condensation. Like little drips of water when we looked back, but I didn’t see it at first.” Plaintiff was wearing Timberland construction boots with rubber soles. A security guard told Plaintiff after he fell that they do not allow people to wear boots there.
The trial court dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint because he did not prove that Harrah’s had notice or constructive notice that the steps were wet. Plaintiff appealed.
The Appellate Division overturned, ruling that if plaintiff were to be found credible, a jury could have reasonably concluded the stair was wet and that Harrah’s had notice. The trial court also failed to consider the security guard’s statement after Plaintiff fell.
In order to bring a successful personal injury claim, you must prove liability and damages. Liability consists of defendant having notice and a duty to remove a dangerous condition, such as the wet stairs in this instance. Establishing liability can be very difficult in these scenarios, because there is always the possibility that the condition existed for a short amount of time prior to the accident, and the defendant could not have known about it prior to that time.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a slip and fall, you need to make sure you contact a personal injury attorney with experience of establishing liability. Failing to consider these issues could result in your case be dismissed permanently. Do not hesitate to contact Hark & Hark today to discuss your personal injury.
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