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Time for discovery in trip and fall lawsuit

Folks in New Jersey can easily imagine how quickly and without warning an accident can happen. Busy lives include spending time out and about in restaurants, stores and other public places where the expectation of safety on the premises is reasonable. Sometimes, however, unsafe property conditions exist. Even if the potential hazards aren't realized until after a problem occurs, the responsibility for customer safety rests with the property owners.

According to a lawsuit filed in another state, an injured man is suing a restaurant for his alleged medical expenses, pain, impairment, mental distress and lost wages. The case was filed in August, and is presently in the discovery stage. The main assertion in the complaint is that the plaintiff tripped and fell as a direct result of the busy carpet pattern that obscured his ability to detect a step when moving from the table where he was seated.

It is alleged that on Feb. 4, 2012, the plaintiff purchased a cup of coffee at the restaurant. He was directed to sit at a section of the dining room that was elevated. After some time passed, the plaintiff arose, did not detect the change in the level of the floor and tripped. He hit the ground and was knocked unconscious. According to the complaint, the busy pattern of the carpet on the area made it difficult to notice the elevation, thereby creating the trip hazard. The defendant's answer in the suit denies all of the allegations, and strict proof is demanded.

Safety and health of customers is the responsibility of property owners under the law. Trip and fall accidents that are alleged to be a result of negligence or disregard on the part of the owners or property managers deserve careful evaluation. When accidents happen, sorting out what compensation for the injured is warranted and holding responsible parties accountable, is appropriate.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Discovery underway in suit alleging busy carpet pattern caused man's fall" David Yates, Nov. 25, 2013

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