Imagine an old-fashioned baseball stadium at which the grandstands and
staircases are made of wood. A spectator makes her way through the stands
and her foot unexpectedly and suddenly falls through the wooden plank
on which she stands. She suffers several injuries. Witnesses describe
the wooden board as decomposed, rotten, and soggy.
This is actually a true story from an old case that many attorneys read
while in law school. The case is titled, Winterowd v. Christensen. It
is an out of state case, but the appellate court’s decision states
premises liability that still hold true, especially right here in the Hudson Valley Region
of New York.
The duty that all property owners have is the following: They must use
reasonable care in keeping the property safe so that visitors are not
needlessly and unreasonably injured by dangerous conditions on the property.
How do property owners do this? They do not create a danger and leave it
so that people become injured. They inspect the property for dangerous
conditions and they respond to information received that which indicates
a hazard exists on the property. Having learned about a danger, they warn
guests about the danger and/or they repair the hazard. Owners cannot hide
behind ignorance either; they can be liable even if they did not know
about the hazard if a court decides that the owner should have known the
In fact, the court in the Winterowd case stated that the wood board was
obviously defective and could be noticed by any person looking at the
plank and that a reasonable inspection would reveal such defect.
Experienced Poughkeepsie personal injury attorneys suspect that many stairways in the Hudson Valley region have suffered
damage and rotting as a result of the 2014-2015 brutal winter. Falling
on stairs is scary and results in many types of injuries, some serious,
and others that can lead to death. As stated above, victims of stair accidents
can hold property owners liable for injuries caused in said accidents.
To be clear,
property owners can be liable for accidents on their property if:
- The owner or an employee knew about the hazard and failed to warn or repair, or
- The owner or an employee created the danger and failed to warn or repair, or
- The owner or an employee did not know, but should have known, that the
Learn more about injuries caused by winter damage such as potholes and
cracked sidewalks in
our latest article posted here. Read about car accidents caused by potholes in
our recent blog posted here. Learn more about motorcycle accidents caused by potholes in roadway in
our blog posted here. Read about cracked sidewalks causing trip and fall accidents in
our blog posted here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.