Premises Liability-Slip and Fall-Godfrey Business Owner Sued Over Failure to Fix Broken Pipe
March 7, 2011
In Illinois and with respect to Illinois slip and fall cases, the owner of a property has a duty of reasonable care to provide a safe premises. That is, if the owner has knowledge of a condition whereby the premises are made unsafe, he has a duty to fix it, or warn people about it and/or take any remedial measures a reasonable person would have taken–that is, if the owner has in fact notice of the unsafe condition, although if it can be proven that the unsafe condition was present for a length of time during which the owner, through reasonable inspection would have taken note of it, then notice will be constructively imputed upon the owner.
In the instance and the case below, on top of all that we have the issue of natural versus unnatural accumulation. There are many things written about that distinction but generally, one should know that the law does not impute liability for an act of God–that is natural snow fall and natural ice formation is not the basis of negligence upon which a premises owner may be found to be liable.
Here, however, the woman alleges broken sewer lines causing the ice upon which she fell and injured herself. If she can prove that the sewer line was in fact broken, that the water from that sewer line caused the ice, and that the owner knew about that defect or should have known about it, then she may be able to collect damages for her injuries. If she fails to prove any of those issues, she loses.
Premises liability cases are not easy cases to prove.
An Alton woman has filed suit against the owners of a building where she claims she injured her left ankle after falling on a patch of ice caused from a broken sewer line.
Lori A. Wallace claims she was visiting friends at 2718 Gerson Ave. in Godfrey on Feb. 7 when she fell on an unnatural accumulation of ice.
Because of her fall, Wallace was made sick, sore, lame and disordered and experienced pain and suffering, according to the complaint filed Feb. 7 in Madison County Circuit Court. In addition, she incurred medical costs, lost her earnings and her earning capacity, lost wages and suffered disability and disfigurement, the suit states.
Wallace names the owners of the property — David McGaughey and Glori McGaughey — as defendants, saying they negligently allowed an unnatural accumulation of ice to form on their driveway, failed to remove the ice and failed to warn others of the unnatural accumulation…