In slip and fall cases involving ice, the injured person needs to prove notice, whether actual or constructive, of the specific defect (the ice) that caused the injury. It is not enough to prove defendant’s notice of the general condition that caused the ice. The injured person must offer evidence that defendant had notice, whether actual or constructive, of the specific ice that caused injury. Actual notice is when the defendant knew of the existence of the ice prior to the incident. Constructive notice involves proving that the ice existed for a long enough period of time that the defendant should have known about it.
One way to prove constructive notice is to present evidence that ice had formed in the particular location on prior occasions. The evidence of prior ice is relevant to the timing aspect of constructive notice. If the area was prone to icing, then the defendant should be held to a shorter time period for detecting and correcting the icy condition. Stated another way, defendant should have discovered and fixed the ice more quickly because the defendant knew that the particular area was prone to icing.
How to go about discovering whether the accident location was prone to icing will be addressed in a subsequent blog post.
Attorney James Sabatini obtained a six figure settlement on behalf of his client in a slip and fall case. The case involved a big box store located in Connecticut. Our client was walking in an aisle when she fell due to a foreign and slippery substance on the floor. Through investigation, Attorney Sabatini discovered that the substance on the floor came from customers sampling a chemical spray product. Customers were regularly spraying the product in the air resulting in the product accumulating on the floor. Due to the nature of the chemical substance, the daily mopping of the floor with soap and water did not remove the substance. It was discovered during the litigation, that the store actually had a cleaning product on site to remove the substance from the floor, but the store manager was not even aware of the cleaning product’s existence. Thus, the cleaning product was never used and the floor was remained slippery. The client suffered an elbow injury which required surgery.
If you have been injured as a result of a Connecticut town’s or city’s defective sidewalk, you must give written notice of the claim within 90 days of the accident to the town. If proper written notice is not given within 90 days, you will be prohibited from bringing a lawsuit against the town or city. The written notice must be filed with the town or city clerk. The written notice must identify the injury, describe the injury, describe the cause of the injury (i.e. the nature and substance of the defect or hazrad), the date and time of the incident, and the location of the incident. This crucial notification requirement is another example why it pays to retain a Connecticut personal injury lawyer soon after an accident.