Pennsylvania property owners have a duty to keep their sidewalks safe from unreasonably dangerous conditions in order to prevent pedestrian slip or trip and fall accidents. Property owners include home owners, businesses and even schools.
We represented an elderly woman who was going to a poll meeting as a volunteer at a high school in Philadelphia. As she was heading towards the entrance doors, she tripped over a pole holder on the sidewalk in front of the school. The white pole that was supposed to be in the pole holder was missing.
The pole holder that our client fell over was a dangerous condition because a pedestrian could not see the pole holder. It was gray in color, similar to the color of the sidewalk. Further, the meeting was at night, and there was no lighting around the area she was walking. The only light was on the school building itself, which was several feet away.
In order to win this PA trip and fall case, we had to prove that the school had notice of the dangerous pole holder. Notice comes in 2 forms: actual notice and constructive notice. Therefore, the school had to have actually known about the dangerous pole holder or the school should have known about the dangerous pole holder.
Though the school claimed that it did not have actual notice that the pole was missing from the pole holder, we were able to establish that the school had constructive notice of the dangerous condition on the sidewalk.
The school had a procedure for inspecting the building or the grounds every morning. Between 7am and 8am every morning, maintenance personnel was supposed to go around the outside of the school, including the sidewalk where our client tripped, to make sure everything was okay and safe. If the pole was missing or knocked down, the employee would report back to the building engineers. Afterwards, the base of the pole holder would be removed. Our client fell at approximately 6pm; therefore, the school had ample constructive notice of the missing pole.
As a result of her trip and fall accident, our client sustained serious injuries to her hand and right shoulder. She also needed to have surgery in her right hand and wrist, which resulted in a permanent deformity and scarring.
We were able to settle the case prior to trial. The settlement amount was confidential, and our client was very happy with the financial compensation she received.
Injured In A Trip & Fall Accident In Pennsylvania? Call the lawyers at White and Williams LLP for a FREE case assessment. 877.944.8396