A long-term member of the fitness center (intended for family use) slipped and fell upon entering a public shower room (which had no mats). A Member slipped and fell due to a slippery substance nearby a moderate pool of water. A member was not barefoot and was wearing shower slippers. Male shower room also had no shower stalls and tiles were slippery. The rails were around the wall only (it was impossible to grab the rails if someone fell in the middle of the shower area. Member sustained severe personal injuries. Are there any successful NY Supreme Court Cases and/or case Laws that can be used against the landlord/tenant. What is the responsibility of the maintenance people? Is prior written Notice required or the maintenance people should have reasonably be on notice?
While there is a good argument to be made that there should have been rubber mats down, the defendants will counter that 1) showers are slippery 2) the danger was open and obvious and 3) the injured person assumed the risk of slipping by entering an obviously wet shower. Now, this combination may obviate the club's duty to warn, and in some cases may even cause a judge to dismiss the plaintiff's case on a motion for summary judgment. The best case scenario would be that the pltf lawyer defeats summary judgment and gets past a motion to dismiss at trial at the close of plaintiff's evidence. This would allow the case to get to a jury, where the jury would assign a percentage of fault to the health club and to the plaintiff. Any award the plaintiff receives will be reduced by the percentage of fault he bore. I'm sorry that the person sustained serious injuries. I urge you to contact a lawyer in your area. You may find one through this site.
Sorry for the members situation. That said, a very difficult claim to prove with a serious issue of potential comparative negligence. Speak with a few lawyers who specialize in personal injury litigation. Try to retain the one you are most comfortable with and confident. Don't delay and don't speak with the health facility (or their insurer). Good luck.
At first glance it appears that it would be very difficult to prove negligence against the club. However, if the injuries are significant, I would personally go to the scene of the accident and inspect it myself. Moreover, if I concluded that there was at least a question of fact as to whether the shower area posed a danger to the members, and that the owner of the club either knew or should have known of that "danger", then I would immediately retain an expert to inspect the scene and render a written report as to the specifics of how the club was negligent. Assuming the club is not a governmental entity, no prior notice is required.
I agree with my colleagues. Your argument would have to be that the fitness club and/or the owner of the property failed to properly maintain the shower area in a safe condition. That would include providing appropriate handrails, mats, warnings, and inadequate tiles, among other potential arguments. Also, sometimes companies such as Cintas, maintain and replace mats on a regular basis. As such, they could be partially liable too.
With all of that being said, the obvious counter argument is that the shower area is slippery when wet. As such, the member is more than 50% at fault. If thats true, then his claim is barred.
Depending on the fitness club's records (i.e. were there prior falls or complaints and the club took no action), will likely be a crucial factor.
If the injuries are severe, its worth investigating. Don't do it yourself. Don't wait until the fitness club's records are missing. Immediately seek an experienced personal injury attorney who offers free 30 minute consultations, such as myself.
There is no prior written notice requirement, but it will have to be proved that the facility knew or should have known of whatever dangerous condition caused you to fall. You should definitely consult with a NY personal injury attorney ASAP so he can ascertain the facts in more depth and go to the scene so that the danger posed can be accurately assessed. Until this is done, there is no way to tell if you case is worth pursuing.
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