Court Holds Puddle of Rainwater Does Not Constitute a Dangerous Hazard in Recent Slip-and-Fall Case

Earlier this month, an appellate court in Georgia issued a written opinion in a slip-and-fall case that was brought by a woman who slipped and fell while attempting to board a train. The plaintiff filed her claim against the transportation agency that operated the train and maintained the station. However, since the woman was unable to prove that the puddle of rainwater in which she slipped constituted a “dangerous condition,” the case was dismissed.

Train StationThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff arrived at the train station on a rainy day. As she approached the station, she entered a covered platform where commuters would wait to board the train. A few feet from where the entrance to the covered platform was, there was a small puddle of rainwater that had accumulated due to the day’s rain.

The plaintiff later explained that she knew it had been raining, saw the puddle of water, and slipped as she stepped in the puddle. She explained that the concrete in the area where the puddle had formed was darker, as though water had been accumulating in that area for a period of months or years.

The transportation agency argued that the presence of a puddle of rainwater on a rainy day does not constitute a dangerous condition. The agency argued that it was not on notice that the puddle existed, and therefore it could not have done anything to remedy the situation. Furthermore, the agency argued that there had been no reports of prior slip-and-fall accidents at that location.

The Court’s Decision

The trial court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, and the plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the court affirmed the lower court’s decision. The appellate court explained that the puddle did not constitute a dangerous condition. First, the court noted that the puddle was open and obvious, meaning that the plaintiff should have been able to see it prior to her fall. Second, the court explained that people should expect to find puddles of rainwater on a rainy day, and it is not necessarily the responsibility of the transportation agency to eliminate all puddles on the day that they are formed. As a result of the court’s decision, the plaintiff will not be able to seek compensation for her injuries.

Have You Been Injured in a Slip-and-Fall Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a South Florida slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Landowners and business owners have an affirmative duty to keep their premises safe for invited guests. When a property owner fails to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition, they may be liable for injuries that occur as a result of that failure. The skilled personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Friedman, Rodman & Frank have decades of experience handling all types of slip-and-fall cases, and we know what it takes to be successful in South Florida courts. Call 877-448-8585 today to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney.

More Blog Posts:

Florida Appellate Court Invalidates Arbitration Agreement, Rejecting Nursing Home’s Argument, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published March 30, 2017.

State Court of Appeals Invalidates Nursing Home Arbitration Contract, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published April 13, 2017.

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