Liability and Causation in Slip and Falls
Sometimes portrayed in funny videos, slip and falls are sometimes seen as comical and amusing." However, it is a very dangerous, common incident than can affect someone for the rest of his/her life." Common places or situations in which slip and falls can occur include stairwells, icy embankments, a wet floor, a chipped tile in a store; but what happens when it is a place where a clean and safe floor is a fundamental requirement? Such was the question addressed in the case of Souliere v. Casino Niagara." A patron, namely Lori Souliere was dining at a buffet style restaurant when she unfortunately slipped and fell." An agreement for damages was reached but the issue of liability was not agreed upon. The Judge now had to make a ruling on two key related factors - was the standard of care breached and did it cause the plaintiff to suffer the fall? The Judge examined the policy of the restaurant when it came to spillage and cleanliness.
- Any spillage of food was supposed to be cleaned up by staff as soon as possible, and "wet floor" signs were to be put in its place if the floor could not be cleaned up quickly.
- The responsibility of spotting and cleaning up of spills as soon as possible belonged to the bussers, hostesses, line cooks and supervisors." This however is not their only responsibility.
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