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Injured After Tripping On An Unsecured Rug In A Store - Proving Liability (Part B)

As Part A of this article discusses, the owner of the store or establishment may be liable for a customer's injuries as a result of falling on an unsafe mat or rug on the floor.

However, there are situations where the owner of the establishment is not liable.  In Gibson v. Harris Amusement Co., 109 Pa. Super. 484 (1933), the Superior Court of Pennsylvania determined that the defendant was not liable for plaintiff's injuries as a result of falling over a carpet on the floor.

The plaintiff claimed that she tripped and fell over a torn and wrinkled carpet that was not securely fastened to the floor.  Further, plaintiff alleged that the lighting was so dim that she could not see the carpet. Plaintiff also argued that the defendant knew or should have known about the condition as it existed for a long period of time.

However, plaintiff's claims were unsubstantiated at trial.  There was no evidence that the lighting was improper or that the carpet was torn.  There was also no evidence that defendant should have known about the carpet as a tripping hazard.  Plaintiff testified that she passed the rug on her way to the bathroom, and the rug did not have a wrinkle.  After being in the bathroom some minutes, she came out and tripped over the carpet, which had a wrinkle or crumple that caught her foot.  There was not enough time for defendant to know nor could it be established that the defendant should have known about the danger in such a short period of time.  Therefore,  the defendant was not liable for plaintiff's injuries.

Falling On Unsafe Mats/Rugs In Stores Or Public Establishments

Therefore, just because you fell over an unsecured mat or rug at a store does not mean the store is liable for your injuries.  It depends on the facts surrounding the trip and fall accident such as:

  • the condition of the rug/mat;
  • the lighting of the accident site; and/or
  • the period of time that the dangerous condition existed.

There may be other facts that can be considered, and a case by case analysis is necessary. 

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Philadelphia, PA & New Jersey Trip & Fall Injury Lawyers

If you had a trip and fall accident and would like more information about your legal rights, feel free to contact Dan O'Brien, a personal injury lawyer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Dan and his team have helped numerous victims of trip and fall accidents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  They are experienced trip and fall lawyers who have the resources to properly evaluate your case and the pertinent law.  Dan and his team will also answer all of your questions and concerns. 877.944.8396


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