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– Premises liability – Fall down – Plaintiff alleged she slipped and fell on a wet stair while exiting store – Hazardous condition – Trimalleolar left ankle fracture

USDC, District of Massachusetts

In this negligence matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants owners of a liquor store were negligent in permitting a dangerous condition to exist in its exterior stairs that resulted in the plaintiff’s fall. As a result of her fall, the plaintiff suffered a trimalleolar ankle fracture. The defendants deny that there was any defect or dangerous condition with regard to the stair where the plaintiff fell, and maintained that the plaintiff’s fall was as a result of her own negligence.

The female plaintiff, and her husband, were visiting from their home country of Ireland. On the evening of August 23, ________, while en route back to their hotel room, the plaintiff stopped to purchase a bottle of water from the defendants’ store. The plaintiff entered the store, purchased her water, and as she exited the store, placed her right foot outside, and her foot slipped on the stone, where there was no door mat. The plaintiff fell backwards, and her left ankle came into contact with the stone step and became injured. The plaintiff was taken by ambulance to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a trimalleolar fracture of her left ankle. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant owners of the store, alleging negligence. The plaintiff contended that the defendants were negligent in failing to make sure that the steps were slip resistant. In fact, the plaintiff contended that one of the defendants’ employees stated, "That floor gets very slippery when it’s wet," since it had been raining at the time of the incident. The plaintiff further contended that the steps were hazardous, and failed to meet building code requirements. The plaintiff contended that the defendants had advance notice of the slippery nature of the steps in the rain, and failed to take any action to correct the condition or warn the plaintiff and others of the dangerous nature of the stairs.

The defendants denied the allegations, and maintain that there was nothing wrong with the stairs, and that they were not the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, rather it was the plaintiff’s own failure to exercise due care, and watch where she was going that caused her fall and the resulting injuries.

The matter proceeded to trial.At the conclusion of the trial, the jury deliberated and returned its verdict in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiff. No damages were awarded.

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