Even a simple slip-and-fall can result in serious injuries. This type of incident can happen in a number of different situations such as slipping on a wet floor or tripping over an item negligently left in a shopping aisle. When the incident occurs on someone else's property, an injured person may have a premises liability claim against the property managers.
Sometimes these types of accidents can be fatal. Just recently, the family of a college student filed a lawsuit against the state of California, the California Department of Transportation, and two Trusts that own land near Yosemite National Park. The lawsuit claims that the defendants failed to keep public property safe.
The fatal accident occurred over a year ago when a young man and some friends were on a road trip to Yosemite. On the way, they decided to stop and explore a bit, finding a culvert tunnel. But when the young man emerged from the tunnel, he slipped on a wet rock and fell 50 feet into rocky terrain to his death.
Troubled by the dangerous condition of the area, his family filed the lawsuit alleging that there were no signs warning sightseers of the slippery concrete. In addition, there were no fences or rails in place to block off unsafe parts of the cliff.
His family believes that there should have been indications of the dangerousness of the rocks on the other side of the tunnel. No doubt the biggest question is whether their loved one would still be alive if those warning signs and barriers had been in place.
The two Trusts own the property. Are they responsible for making sure that the property is reasonably safe for the public? Should they have maintained the property when the condition worsened over the years? If so, then the young man's family may be entitled to compensation for the loss of their loved one.
Source: Courthouse News Service, "Parents Sue Over Tragic Hiking Death," Heidi Anderson, 18 May 2011
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