Slip and fall accidents are an unfortunately common yet often preventable when property owners take proper precautions. Despite the knowledge that one needs to protect visitors on property from known dangers or foreseeable harms, our attorneys frequently file lawsuits involving slip and fall accidents on behalf of injured clients.
Premises liability tort law surrounds the rule that landowners are liable for the injuries of visitors or customers (legal invitees) suffered on the property, and that landowners have a legal duty to make the premises safe, warn of dangers, and immediately fix and remedy known dangers. Also, this legal duty is not new but has been knowledge to landowners since the middle of the 20th century. The legal standard for negligence and premises liability comes from a federal case from 1947 called United States v. Carroll Towing Co. Judge Learned Hand created the famous standard and balancing test of negligence in this case, known as the “BPL Test,” in which a landowner must weigh the burden (B) to fix a known danger on the land, the probability (P) that injury will occur, and the actual injury that occurs (L). This algebraic formula measures liability: If B is less than L multiplied by P (ex: B < PL). In this balancing test, if a landowner's burden is less than the cost of injury and the probability of an injury's occurrence, then the landowner has not met the legal standard of care owed to invitees. For example, a pot hole in a parking lot, or a cracked tire is a much lesser burden to repair than the ultimate cost and probability of someone falling from the known danger.
According to recent reports by the Cook County Record, a suburban bar is being sued for allegedly breaching this legal duty of care and causing a slip and fall injury. The Cook County bar, Celtic Corner, is the subject of a lawsuit after a man suffered injuries after falling over a board in the bar. The victim tripped and fell down in the walkway of the bar in Elmwood Park. According to the claims, bar patrons were playing a game in which a board with a hole is propped up on the ground, and he alleges that the board was left sitting after a game, which caused his fall.