Articles Posted in Premises Liability

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Assumption of Risk as a Defense in Boston Personal Injury Cases Has Been Abolished

In some jurisdictions, a defendant in a personal injury case can plead what is known as an affirmative defense such as assumption of risk.  Generally speaking, an affirmative defense is a defense, which does not involve denying much of the allegations. Instead, a defendant will plead plaintiff knew of the risks when engaging in a certain activity or course of conduct, with full knowledge of the consequences, and chose to disregard or “assume” those risks.  By assuming the risks, plaintiff should not be able to fault defendant for engaging in any negligence so it should serve as a complete bar to recovery.

Massachusetts is a Mixed Comparative Negligence Jurisdiction

Boston personal injury lawyerAssumption of risk generally developed into what is known as a pure contributory negligence jurisdiction.   This means that if plaintiff contributed to the accident in anyway by being negligent in is or her own right, it would serve as a complete bar to recovery.  This could be as simple as a plaintiff walking down aisle in a big box retailer and slips on a wet floor while there was a caution wet sign.  In these jurisdictions, it could be argued plaintiff assumed the risk by walking on the floor anyway so the case should be dismissed. This may seem like a harsh result, but it is still the law in a handful of states and the District of Columbia.   Continue reading

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When a plaintiff is on someone else’s property and is injured as a result of some dangerous condition on the property, the type of legal action likely to be filed is known as a premises liability case.  A Boston premises liability cases is plead under a theory of negligence and alleges that the defendant did not maintain the property in such as condition so as to make it reasonably safe for lawful entrants onto the land.premises liability

Standard of Care in Boston Premises Liability Cases

In Massachusetts, the law regarding the duty of due care owed to lawful occupants on the property was drastically altered as compared to what it was and still is in many other states in a 1973 cases captioned Wilbur M. Mounsey v. P. Ellard & Another (363 Mass. 693).   Prior to this case, the law required a distinction between invitees and licensees when determining if the landowner owed a duty of due care to maintain the property in a safe condition and warn lawful occupants of known, yet hidden, dangers. Continue reading

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The term “slip-and-fall” is used to cover a variety of situations where a plaintiff slips and falls to the ground in a manner that results in personal injury.  There are various causes of slip and fall injuries in Boston such as falling on a wet floor in a store or other business, tripping due to an uneven floor surface, or tripping on an object left on the floor just to name a few.  These cases are filed under a type of negligence claim in a premises liability lawsuit.

Assumption of Risk Abolished in Massachusetts as a Defense to Negligence

Boston personal injury lawyerOne common defense in many jurisdictions is known as the assumption of risk.  This is  essentially an argument that plaintiff knew of the risks of whatever activity he or she was engaging in and took the risk of the type of harm that occurred. Continue reading

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When we talk about personal injury cases, we are typically talking about someone being injured through the negligence of others.  Negligence is one type of tort (a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy), which is the most common claim in a Boston personal injury case.

Slip and Fall Boston If you are injured on someone else’s property, and the cause of your injury was largely the result the negligence of the property owner or manager, then you will likely have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit. Continue reading

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Skiing can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a dangerous activity.  Each year, hundreds of people are seriously injured or killed.  According to a recent news article from the Aspen Times, a 12-year-old boy from California died as a result of a skiing accident in which he crashed into a tree at a high rate of speed.

skiingSki patrollers (skiing or snowboarding first aid personnel) first got a report of an injured skier a few minutes after 2 p.m.  They said he was skiing when he hit a tree stump that caused him to lose control and crash into another tree.  For those who haven’t skied before, ski trails are marked according to difficulty, ranging from a beginner single green circle to a double black diamond expert trail.  Victim was skiing on a beginning trail at the time of the accident that ultimately proved fatal. Continue reading

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In a recent case from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, plaintiff was injured when she slipped on ice that had accumulated in front of her dorm room.  Her accident occurred on January 17, 2014. This date is important, because this case deals with a notice requirement when filing against a state or municipal defendant.

1380913_street_light_2-300x265On February 3, 2014, plaintiff’s father contacted the university’s risk management office about his daughter’s injury.  In his email, he notified the school that his daughter broke her leg and tore a ligament.  He further informed the school in his email message that she required surgery to repair the damage from her slip-and-fall accident.  He also stated that he expected the school to assume liability for his daughter’s injury, as it was their responsibility to make the walkways safe in campus areas. Continue reading

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In a recent case from the Georgia Supreme Court, a plaintiff was injured when she was bitten by defendant’s dog.  She alleged that the attack occurred when she was bitten by the dog while she was visiting defendant’s home.

dog Plaintiff and defendant in this action were neighbors at the time the action was filed.  The defendant’s adult son was planning to move back to his parent’s home and asked if he could bring his dog, which was an American pit bull terrier. This is dog most people would instantly recognize as the pit bull breed.
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A jury in Chicago awarded $5.4 million to a man who suffered serious back and groin injuries after he slipped and fell on a slick of diesel oil on the ground at a rail yard.

The original verdict was for $9 million, but was lowered by a percentage based on plaintiff’s pdirt oilurported contributory negligence that factored into the fall’s causation.

Plaintiff sued the railroad company for allegedly failing to provide him with the appropriate tools and a safe workplace while he was repairing a leak on site as an independent contractor back in April 2011. The case highlights the fact that although work-related injuries are often compensable only via workers’ compensation benefits, there are sometimes legal avenues to pursue claims against third-parties, such as property owners or general contractors. Continue reading

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In Regalado v. Callaghan, defendant was a subcontractor with a license to do concrete jobs and wanted to build his wife’s dream house according to court records.  In order to save money on the project, defendant chose to be the owner-builder of his new home.

1341083_neglected_poolAccording to the relevant state regulation in the jurisdiction, an owner-builder can personally obtain all necessary permits and serve in the place of a general contractor in terms of responsibility on the project.  Once he had obtained the proper permits, he did all of the concrete work himself and then hired subcontractors to perform the other needed work. Continue reading

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In Goodwin v. Al J. Schneider Co., a case recently weighed by the Kentucky Supreme Court, plaintiff was injured while attending a convention at a hotel and conference center owned by defendant.  Plaintiff was staying at the hotel with his wife and was injured while taking a shower.

wheelchair5According to court records, plaintiff was tying to step into the bathtub to take a shower when he slipped and fell to the floor, thus injuring his knee.  In his personal injury lawsuit following his slip-and-fall accident, plaintiff alleged that this bathtub did not have a grab bar, and there was not a bathmat at the bottom of the tub. He also testified that, after the fall, the hotel gave him a bathmat, and that he learned that other guests had bathmats in their rooms. Continue reading