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Slip & Fall Accidents In Airports Such As The Philadelphia Airport


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7/6/2014
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As I was returning to Philadelphia from vacation last week, I had a flight connection in an airport in NY.  I saw a woman sitting at the bottom of a stairway with airport personnel and other people around her.  As I walked by, she was reporting to the airport personnel that she slipped and fell down the stairs, and she thinks she seriously hurt her knee because she couldn't bend it.  The airport personnel said that they would call someone to take care of her knee.

Naturally, as a personal injury lawyer, I started thinking about this woman's legal rights.  If this trip and fall accident happened in the Philadelphia International Airport, she may be able to file a lawsuit against the airport so long as she proves her case.

In a typical Pennsylvania slip and fall accident on a stairway at a public place such as an airport, the injured victim, aka plaintiff, needs to prove the following:

  • the airport had a duty to protect the injured victim from unreasonably dangerous conditions;
  • the airport breached that duty;
  • that breach of duty caused the slip and fall accident to occur; and
  • the slip and fall accident caused the injured victim to sustain injuries and damages.

The most difficult element to prove will be how the airport breached its duty to protect the injured victim from unreasonably dangerous conditions.

Let's use the woman I saw to discuss how she may prevail in her slip and fall accident case if her accident happened in the Philadelphia International Airport.  The stairway the woman slipped on is made of marble, and near the edge of each step, there are 2 anti-slip strips.  These strips prevent pedestrians from slipping on the steps.  If the woman slipped on the stairway because the anti-slip strips were worn out, she may prevail in her lawsuit depending on 2 factors:

  • whether the airport knew or should have known about the worn-out anti-slip strips;
  • if so, how long did the airport knww about it?

Related: Is Proving Notice Necessary To Win A Pennsylvania Trip And Fall Accident Case?

Situation 1:  Actual Notice

If the airport knew about the worn-out anti-slip strips because other travelers have complained about it 2 months before this woman's fall, then the airport had actual notice of the unreasonably dangerous condition.  The airport would probably be found liable for the woman's injuries.  The reason is because the airport knew about the stairway's dangerous condition for some time and failed to replace the strips.   If the airport fixed the strips after it received complaints, the woman probably would not have slipped.

Situation 2: Constructive Notice

If the airport should have known about the stairway's deterioration, it may also be liable for the woman's injuries.  If the stairway is an area where travelers walk through every day, the airport has a duty to inspect the stairway periodically to make sure that there are no defects or dangerous conditions that could cause travelers to fall or slip on the steps.  If the airport has no such policy, it would probably be liable because it has a duty to inspect its premises to make sure there are no unreasonably dangerous conditions.  If the airport did a routine check on the stairways, it would have discovered that the strips needed to be replaced.  If it did so, then the woman probably would not have slipped.

It is important to note that the Philadelphia International Airport is run by the City of Philadelphia, and there are special deadlines and requirements that the injured victim must comply with in order to file a lawsuit.  See Prevailing In A PA Trip & Fall Lawsuit Against A Local Government Entity – What You Should Know

Help After A Stairway Slip & Fall Accident In PA

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident in PA, call Daniel O'Brien, Esq. to schedule a FREE consultation.  Mr. O'Brien and his team have successfully helped slip and fall victims in PA recover the financial compensation they were entitled to.  877.944.8396



Category: Premises Liability

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