While growing up, chances are that you saw a cartoon where a character was walking along and slipped on a banana peel. However you may have not realized that these cartoons were comically presenting a real issue of the law: premises liability. The banana peel that you saw your favorite character slip on was actually a hazard that a landowner should have known about, fixed, or warned visitors about. While these accidents appear funny in cartoon, unfortunately in real life slip and fall accidents can leave victims with serious personal injuries.
According to a recent article by the Cook County Record, a woman is suing the Chicago Cubs after she experienced a slip and fall accident in a Wrigley Field bathroom. She filed a premises liability lawsuit this month in Cook County Circuit Court. The complaint describes how she was in a bathroom on the main level when she slipped in a puddle of water that was on the floor and became injured. The complaint accuses the Chicago Cubs Baseball Club LLC of failing to maintain the premises in a safe condition. The plaintiff seeks over $50,000 in damages.
Slip and fall accidents are common claims in premises liability lawsuits. Landowners, particularly in this instance owners and operators of commercial property, have a legal duty of care to those on the premises to keep them safe and not cause injury. When a visitor to commercial property suffers injury, such as through a slip and fall accident, the property owner may be held liable through a premises liability lawsuit. In a premises liability lawsuit the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove that injury was caused by the property owner failing to maintain property, that the property owner caused an unsafe condition, or that the property owner knew about the hazard on the premises but failed to warn those on the property. If the landowner's negligence in remedying or inspecting for the dangers led to injuries, they can be held liable as it was their duty to provide safe premises and keep invitees free from danger and injury.