January 23, 2013

Kentucky Slip and Fall Situations Rise as Temperatures Fall

We’ve all seen the cartoons where the character being chased throws a bucket of ice cubes on the floor or dumps water on the floor to make his pursuer slip and fall. We even cheer for the one who causes the slippery surface and laughs when the other one falls. But in real life, slipping on ice or water is no laughing matter, and as we suffer through the remainder of winter, there will be plenty of opportunity to hit a slick spot and come crashing down.

Slip and fall cases can be tricky. Just because someone is injured when he falls on someone else’s property does not mean he is automatically entitled to compensation for his injuries. Several criteria need to be considered in this type of situation.

1. Was there something that caused the fall?
2. If there was a cause, is it something the property owner was aware of, or should have been aware of?
3. Did the property owner have time to remedy the situation?
4. Did the property owner attempt to alert everyone on the property of the situation?

Let’s look closer at each of the above questions. If you are clumsy and simply trip over your own feet or stub your toe on the floor or doorway, the property owner would most likely not be liable for any injuries. You are just a klutz. If there was a reason you fell – like the floor was extremely uneven or slippery, or the parking lot was covered with ice – then it has to be determined whether or not the property owner should have been aware of it. If it has been cold and snowing for the past several hours, then the property owner, unless he lives in a windowless closet, is probably aware that the sidewalk, driveway, or parking lot could be slippery. But if his new refrigerator that has never leaked before suddenly leaves a puddle on the floor, he may not be aware of it until someone slides through the water.

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January 3, 2013

Personal Injury, Premises Liability, and Inherent Risk in Kentucky

Recently the California Supreme Court overturned an appeals court decision in a personal injury lawsuit involving an individual who was injured at an amusement park. The woman was riding on the bumper cars at Great America with her son when they were hit from the front and rear. She braced herself on the front of the car and broke her wrist. The Supreme Court ultimately decided that the amusement park was not liable for her injury because there is an inherent risk in riding bumper cars and there was no negligence.

What is inherent risk? In the context of personal injury, it means that certain activities, because of their nature, may be dangerous. Trying to remove the inherent risk from such an activity would change the activity to such a degree that its appeal may be lost. In the California case mentioned above, the woman was injured when the bumper cars collided. To remove the inherent risk, the cars would have to not hit each other or the walls of the ride, which means they would no longer be “bumper” cars. This would change the entire experience of the ride and would make it less thrilling.

Kentucky is known worldwide for its horses, and horseback riding and other agricultural activities are very popular here. In any type of activity involving animals, there is an inherent risk. Animals are living creatures and are unpredictable. The Kentucky law regarding farm animal activities states:

The inherent risks of farm animal activities are deemed to be beyond the reasonable control of farm animal activity sponsors, farm animal professionals, or other persons. Therefore, farm animal activity sponsors, farm animal professionals, or other persons are deemed to have the duty to reasonably warn participants in farm animal activities of the inherent risks of the farm animal activities but not the duty to reduce or eliminate the inherent risks of farm animal activities. Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, no participant or representative of a participant who has been reasonably warned of the inherent risks of farm animal activities shall make any claim against, maintain an action against, or recover from a farm animal activity sponsor, a farm animal professional, or any other person for injury, loss, damage, or death of the participant resulting from any of the inherent risks of farm animal activities.

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April 23, 2009

Louisville Premises Liability Lawsuit Filed Over Kentucky Stairwell Collapse

In Jefferson Circuit Court, two people who got hurt when a stairway in a Louisville building collapsed are suing the owners of the century-old building for Kentucky premises liability. The Louisville personal injury accident occurred on March 3 when Alan DeLisle and Pattie Clare took a tour of the Fort Nelson property with owners Paul and Carolan Bariteaus. DeLisle oversees Louisville’s downtown development and Clare is his chief deputy.

The stairwell fell two stories, and Paul Bariteau, Clare, and DeLisle became trapped beneath the debris. Carolan was able to arrive at the 3rd floor before the stairway dropped out. She was rescued by firefighters.

According to the Louisville premises liability lawsuit, the Bariteaus should have been aware the structure was not safe, should have maintained the building, should have repaired any hazardous conditions, and should have warned the victims of possible hazards. The two metro workers are seeking a jury trial and compensatory damages. Their lawsuit also names Forte Development Inc. as one of the Louisville premises liability defendants.

According to a spokesperson for Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, no city inspectors have been to the building over the last five years because no work occurred on the premise that warranted a safety inspection. The building was constructed in the 1880’s. Paul Bariteau purchased the building over 10 years ago.

If you were injured on another person’s property, you may be entitled to Kentucky personal injury compensation. Examples of some common kinds of premises liability cases, include:

Slip/Trip and Fall Accidents: Slipping, tripping, or falling on the ground because there was an unsafe condition that caused the accident. This can result in painful, debilitating injuries, such as head injuries, neck injuries, back injuries, and hip injuries.

Inadequate Security: A person becomes a victim of a violent crime because there wasn’t enough security or lighting on the property that could have prevented the incident from happening.

Defective Conditions: A person is hurt because of a defect on the property or a defective product on the premise that the property owner could have and should have removed or repaired but failed to do so.

Inadequate Maintenance: A property owner fails to repair an existing hazard on a premise and/or fails to warn patrons or visitors about the danger.

Related Web Resources:
Metro employees sue over stairwell collapse, Courier-Journal, April 14, 2009

Premises Liability Overview, Justia

August 25, 2008

Kentucky Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Lexington Condo Complex After Girl Gets Stuck in Pool Drain

In Fayette Circuit Court, the mother of Kiah Milsom, the 14-year-old girl who died of a severe anoxic brain injury after drowning in the pool of a condominium complex in Lexington, Kentucky, is suing Aintree Condominiums Inc. for wrongful death.

Kiah and her friends had trespassed onto the condo complex property on July 20, and they were swimming in the pool at around 4am when her arm got sucked into the pool’s drain. Kiah reportedly was underwater for about 20 minutes until emergency workers, who were summoned, were able to free her. She sustained a traumatic brain injury from the accident and died several days later at the University of Kentucky Hospital.

In her lawsuit, Kiah’s mother Lisa Ann Scott accuses the condo complex owners of negligence and states that they either knew or should have known that the pool drain pump was dangerous. By law, a pool drain is supposed to have a properly secured cover, and the lawsuit contends that the pool’s drain cover was missing.

Premises Liability
Property owners are supposed to make sure that there are no unsafe conditions on a premise that could lead to serious injuries or death. Failure to fulfill this duty of care can be grounds for a Kentucky premises liability lawsuit if someone is injured or dies.

Dangerous Pool Drains
Pool drains have been known to cause serious injury or death if they are not properly covered and secured. Over the past three decades, there have been reports of a number of incidents where children, in particular, have gotten stuck in a pool drain and have been unable to release themselves. Serious injuries have included intestines being pulled from the trapped person’s body, near drownings, traumatic brain injuries, and deaths. It is important that you speak with Kentucky personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have grounds to file a claim against any negligent parties.

Mother of drowned girl sues condo owners, Bluegrassbeat.com, August 22, 2008

Teen dies of injury from pool accident, Kentucky.com, July 27, 2008

Related Web Resources:

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act

'She Died in My Arms': A Mother's Mission for Safe Pools, ABC News, July 23, 2008