Articles Posted in Slip & Fall Accidents

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The Pittsburgh Zoo has stated that the mother of a child tragically mauled to death by wild African dogs is the cause of her son’s death and should be barred from damages.

The child, two-year old Maddox Derkosh, was visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo with his mother, Elizabeth Derkosh on November 4, 2012. The Zoo is alleging that the boy’s mother was negligent by holding him up on a four-foot railing to get a better view of an African dog exhibit. The child tragically fell into the enclosure and autopsy reports revealed the boy was killed not by the fall, but by injuries sustained as a result of the wild dog attack.
At the time of Maddox Derkosh’s death, the exhibit had an observation deck which was only partially enclosed. Because Maddox had poor eyesight, Elizabeth lifted her son to get a better view. Elizabeth, and at least one other witness, stated that Maddox lurched forward and escaped his mother’s grasp, causing him to fall through the unprotected opening.

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The Courier-Journal is reporting that a 3-year-old boy was severely injured on Friday when he fell from a parking garage at Norton Suburban Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. So far, according to the paper, Norton’s media relations manager, Brian Rublein, says that the hospital is unaware of how the fall occurred.

Early reports, that the child had fallen from a window, were denied by Rublein as inaccurate. This report had previously come from a St. Matthew’s police dispatcher. It is still unclear which version of events is correct. The child was seen at Norton Suburban Hospital’s emergency room before being transferred to Kosair Children’s Hospital. According to the same St. Matthew’s police dispatcher, the child was conscious and believed to be alert after the fall. It is unknown how far the child fell.

Comments on the Courier-Journal’s website questioned where the child’s parents were when this tragedy occurred. However without knowing all of the facts, it is premature to blame anyone in this terrible situation. There is no way of knowing, without further investigation, whether there may have been some other factor or factors that may have led to the fall. If the child did, in fact, fall from the garage, we do not know whether there were adequate safeguards, railings or warnings in the area of the fall. If the child actually fell from a window, that raises many more questions about the ability of a 3 year old to open a window inside of a hospital building and climb out.

Suntech Enterprises, Inc. and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have agreed to a voluntary recall of 8400 baby walkers to comply with upcoming CPSC requirements that all baby walkers have grips to prevent the walker from falling down stairs.

The walkers were sold in blue, pink, and green and look like this:

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Although no injuries have been reported to date, the CPSC requests that owners stop using the walkers immediately and return the products. Owners can return the products at the store they were purchased from for a full refund.

In Kentucky, store owners owe as duty to protect the public from dangers or hazards the store knows about or should know about.

The main Kentucky court case on this issue of people slipping or falling in a business and injuring themselves is Lanier v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In the Walmart case, the Court said that to maintain a lawsuit against a business for an injury involving a customer or person slipping or falling, while at the business, the injured party must prove: (i) he or she slipped or fell on a substance or object while at the store, which was dangerous, (ii) the substance or object was a substantial factor in causing the person to slip or fall, and (iii) because of the substance or object, the business was not in a reasonably safe condition for the person or customer who slipped or fell.

A substance that could create an unsafe condition could be food, water, or some other fluid on the floor, including substances that have leaked out of products on the shelves. An object that could create an unsafe condition could be a product or part thereof on the floor, a problem or defect with the floor itself, a loose or broken step, a hole, or a loose or broken handrail. These examples are not all encompassing, as many other substances or hazardous conditions may qualify.

Slip and fall (also referred to as trip and fall) injuries are common and often avoidable. As a personal injury case, they are very difficult to win for the injured person. Kentucky lawyers experienced handling cases under Kentucky slip and fall law (technically called premises liability law) can help injury victims recover medical bills and often lost wages and pain and suffering damages for slip and fall accidents that happen on someone else’s property as a result of unsafe conditions. Whether on a business property or personal property, owners have a duty to keep their property safe and to warn of any dangerous conditions, unless the injured person is a trespasser.

If the dangerous condition is on a business premise the standard of care is higher since the customer, as an invitee, is encouraged to come onto the property so that the owner can make money. If a business invites customers onto its property to make money, it has an obligation to make sure its property is safe. Grocery stores, shopping malls and restaurants all have a duty to keep their businesses safe through reasonable inspections and to warn of any conditions that can not be fixed immediately.

A licensee is a person invited onto private property, such as an acquaintance’s house. The duty of the property owner is less than that of a business, but there is still a duty to warn of any unsafe conditions on the premise. The law on slip and fall accidents varies from state to state so it is important to contact a local personal injury lawyer in dealing with a slip and fall that occurred in the state.