Slip-and-Fall Case Dismissed When Defendant Successfully Showed Plaintiff Had Knowledge of the Open and Obvious Hazard that Caused Her Fall

Earlier this month, an appellate court in Georgia issued a written opinion in a premises liability case that was brought by a woman who slipped and fell on a “corn hole” game board as she was talking to a sales associate in a car dealership’s showroom. The court ultimately determined that because the evidence presented showed the plaintiff had successfully negotiated her way around the board several time before, and because it was open and obvious, the defendant was entitled to summary judgment.

Banana PeelThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff went with a friend to the defendant’s car dealership to look at the selection of available pick-up trucks. Upon arrival, the plaintiff saw a sales associate in an office across the show room. She crossed the show room, passing a four-foot-long board that was part of a corn hole game. The plaintiff and her friend spoke to the associate, and then made their way out into the lot. A short time later the two came back into the show room and went back to the sales associate’s office, again making their way past the corn hole board.

The plaintiff and her friend had a brief conversation with the associate before leaving his office. On her way out of the associate’s office, he stopped her to ask her a question. She briefly responded and then continued her exit. However, as she did, she tripped and fell on the board, injuring her knee. The plaintiff then filed a premises liability lawsuit against the car dealership, claiming that it was negligent in the placement of the game board.

The defendant responded to the allegations by stating that the game board was stationary, open and obvious, and that the plaintiff knew it was there because she had successfully made her way around it three times before. The plaintiff argued that the board was moveable, although admitted that it had not moved since she entered the show room. The plaintiff also argued that the sales associate created a distraction by asking her a question.

The court ruled in favor of the defendant. The court explained that, under these facts, the hazard was open and obvious, and the plaintiff had actual knowledge of the board’s presence. To hold the defendant liable for the plaintiff’s injuries would then be contrary to the law, the court held.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Slip-and-Fall Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any type of Maryland slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, as the case discussed above indicates, certain facts must be proven in order for a case to be successful. The skilled injury attorneys at the Maryland-based law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of collective experience representing clients in all types of personal injury matters, including slip-and-fall cases. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up your free consultation to discuss your case with a dedicated personal injury advocate.

More Blog Posts:

Plaintiff’s Slip-and-Fall Case Dismissed Due to Lack of Causation Evidence, Maryland Accident Law Blog, February 22, 2017.

Maryland Medical Malpractice Cases Are Subject to Different Procedural Requirements, Maryland Accident Law Blog, March 6, 2017.

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