To win a premises liability case in Massachusetts, you may have multiple options that you can use. If you seek a favorable judgment based upon the “traditional theory” of premises liability, you need proof that the hazard upon which you slipped was something of which the property owner knew or something that had existed for a long enough period of time that the owner reasonably should have known about it if it was being properly diligent. To learn more about your options if you’ve been hurt in a slip-and-fall (or trip-and-fall) accident, be sure you retain skilled Massachusetts premises liability counsel to handle your case.A recent example of a slip-and-fall case with a “traditional theory” of premises liability was the accident suffered by D.K. D.K. was a shopper at a supermarket when she slipped and fell, suffering substantial injuries in the process. D.K. discovered that she slipped on an advertising sign that had fallen to the ground. The injured shopper’s lawsuit asserted that the store was liable to her and owed her compensation based upon the legal concept of “premises liability.”
If you slip and fall on something like the sign in D.K.’s case, you can win even without evidence that the store knew about the sign having fallen to the ground. The law in Massachusetts says that if a hazard had certain “physical characteristics” from which a jury could reasonably infer that a substantial amount of time had elapsed since the object was there, the injured plaintiff can still be entitled to a successful verdict.
In other words, in a fallen sign case like D.K.’s, it would help greatly if you had evidence tending to show that the sign had been down a long time. Things like dirt, smudges, and shoe prints on the sign could allow a jury to infer that the sign had been on the ground for too long. This was where the evidence that D.K. had fell short. The sign in her case was, by D.K.’s own admission, very clean and lacking dirt or marks on it. If she could have offered the court some type of physical evidence to show that the danger of the fallen sign had existed for a significant period of time, whether that proof was on the actual sign or elsewhere, she would have been able to proceed with her case.