On December 15, 2010 outside the Perimeter by the Chattahoochee River in Georgia at an office complex the Plaintiff, Layla Bioys, was participating with her coworkers in a company event when it began to snow with sleet and freezing rain earlier that afternoon.
Since temperatures had been below or at freezing for the day, the on duty security officer spread the chemical melt ice on the parking lot and the walkways. At approximately 5:00 p.m. that day a management company official alerted the tenants in the building via. email of the bad weather and told them to remain on the pathways that had been duly treated with ice melt.
At approximately 6:00 p.m., the Plaintiff as well as others that had been in attendance for the meeting that day left the premises. However, when the Plaintiff was stepping off the sidewalk she began to slide. Even though she began to slide, she continued across the parking lot and then fell where there was a patch of black ice that she did not see.
Her fall resulted in a fracture of her ankle whereby she had to to undergo surgery for her injuries. Her surgery involved having screws and a steel plate placed in her ankle. She then had to have another surgery to remove the hardware from her body at a later date. Her total medical bills were approximately $ 60,000.
The parties were unable to resolve the issue so the Plaintiff filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court in Georgia in March of 2012 naming the management company, Transwestern, and the property owner, Istar, et.al., Inc., as Defendants in the lawsuit. Both Transwestern and Istar placed the blame on the Plaintiff and the security company, Walden, who was in charge of placing the ice melt on the property, and, therefore, brought Walden into the lawsuit as a thirty-party Defendant.
The Defendants Transwestern and Istar claimed that the Plaintiff was a native to the Midwest as she attended High School in Chicago and, therefore, made an inference that she should have known how to walk on ice. The Plaintiff rebutted this presumption and, “testified that she had never walked on ice before.”
Since I am a native to the Midwest as well, I would not think that a Defendant in a Premises Liability case would be absolved from liability simply due to the fact that I may or may not have walked on ice in the past. I will let your mind determine if this is a plausible legal argument. I will tell you this from my personal experience that no matter how many times you drive or walk on ice, when you encounter black ice all bets are off and anything can happen no matter what measure of care you use in the situation.
I will continue the discussion of this case in my next blog titled, “A Slip and Fall in an Icy Parking Lot Yields a $ 700K Jury Verdict in Fulton County, Georgia for the Plaintiff ~ part two.”
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates we are experts at representing people in Premises Liability, and Slip, Trip and Fall Cases with a collective of over 75 years of successful representation of victims who have been injured on the property of another due to the negligence of another person or entity. As a result, if you have been injured on the property of another, then Contact Us as soon as possible for your free legal consultation so that we may investigate your situation and make sure that you have a winning case.
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