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Pittsburgh Premises Liability Law Blog

Pennsylvania slip and fall blamed on market, delivery person

Accidental falls due to slips are more likely, as we move through a season that often is more rain-soaked than sunny. Floors in Pittsburgh stores can become slippery due to wet foot traffic from customers, employees and others constantly moving in and out. Store owners have a duty to clear hazards quickly or warn customers about them.

A Pennsylvania woman blames an Oxford grocery store and a pop maker for a slip and fall accident. The plaintiff in a recently-filed premises liability claim alleges a Chester County food store, Acme Markets, failed to clean up a liquid-covered aisle, caused by a soft drink delivery person. The injured woman also blamed Pepsi Beverages Inc. for the delivery person's incompetence in dealing with the slippery spot.

Owner negligence equals damages in premises liability claims

The Pennsylvania Department of Health analyzes the numbers, types and costs of injuries suffered by hospital patients statewide. Facts like these let health officials know the prevalence of certain injuries, so accident prevention efforts and laws can focus upon them.

If you take a look at the "mechanism" for Allegheny County injuries in 2012, one cause of harm rises above the others. Falls were responsible for 51 percent of all recorded injuries. The overwhelming majority of 7,857 recorded falls occurred among senior citizens 75 and older, but the second highest injury group with 1,547 falls was victims age 45 to 64 – not seniors and not children.

Injury claim against Pennsylvania mulch seller tops $500,000

You know the condition of your property better than anyone else – the part of the yard that turns mushy and slippery after a hard rain or the loose step on the back deck. Visitors don't share the same knowledge. Someone unfamiliar with your property could get hurt if you don't address problems or warn others about dangerous conditions.

Pittsburgh store owners have the same duties as homeowners to provide reasonable protection for visitors. Ideally, store operators regularly inspect areas where customers walk, inside and outside a business, and the way products are displayed and stacked. Hazards that can be fixed are corrected, while warning signs or barriers are placed around dangers that can't be avoided.

Pennsylvania airport, airline sued for fall at departure area

You don't visit a neighbor or shop at an Allegheny County store anticipating you'll be hurt. You assume others will maintain a safe property the way you do. This safety agreement is more than common courtesy -- the property owner is obligated to take reasonable steps to protect visitors from injuries.

A woman preparing to take a flight out of Philadelphia International Airport suffered serious injuries in a departure lounge. The out-of-state resident recently filed a premises liability claim stating a chair in the waiting area collapsed, when the woman sat on it. The passenger's head and back hit a wall when she fell backward.

Home explosion critically injures Pennsylvania mother, daughter

Human mistakes are often the cause of gas-related accidents. Gas explosions and fires produced by them result in large-scale property damage, fatalities and catastrophic injuries for survivors. The sources for these destructive accidents are propane tank leaks, faulty natural gas connectors or valves, improper gas equipment installation and unmaintained or outdated pipelines.

A 2012 ProPublica.org report stated half the gas pipelines in the U.S. were at least half a century old. A deadly 2011 underground gas explosion in Allentown claimed the lives of five people and damaged dozens of homes. The gas leak was traced to cast-iron gas pipes installed in the Pennsylvania neighborhood more than 80 years ago.

Is liability automatic for Allegheny County property owners?

According to the National Safety Council, about 8.9 million people in the U.S. are treated in hospitals each year for fall-related injuries. When you slip and fall or trip and fall at a location other than home, the owner or operator of that property may be responsible for your medical expenses and other losses.

Fault and subsequent compensation for Allegheny County premises injury accidents depend upon the circumstances of each case. A property owner is not automatically responsible for visitors' injuries, even if a fall victim's injuries are severe. A legal claim is valid only when the injury is tied to property owner negligence.

Pennsylvania stores: Not as safe as customers believe

Allegheny County shoppers anticipate bargains while visiting stores. We don't think about getting hurt, but store accidents happen more than you think. An average of 24,000 children is injured every year in shopping cart accidents, according to a January 2014 Clinical Pediatrics report.

Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital studied information about emergency room treatments among children under age 15. From 1990 to 2011, nearly 531,000 children were injured in shopping cart-related accidents. That translated to cart accidents requiring hospitalization once every 22 minutes or 66 child injuries each day.

Premises liability case blames Lowe’s for worker negligence

An Allegheny County home or business owner may be liable for actions they did or did not take to prevent visitor harm. Property owners can't focus solely on the removal of existing hazards. Reasonable precautions must be taken for foreseeable unsafe conditions.

Premises liability disputes may revolve around a defendant's knowledge of an unsafe condition. A store might claim employees could not mop up a floor spill because workers were unaware the slip-and-fall hazard existed. However, storeowners and operators have an obligation to maintain a safe property and consequently, must anticipate probable danger.

Pennsylvania racetrack fails to avert $7.8 million judgment

Good relationships with employees, service providers and customers are the keys to profitability for many Allegheny County businesses. Companies may learn a hard lesson when the strength of relationships is based solely on financial benefits and not the well-being of people important to success. Evidence of broken business relationships can be found in premises liability cases.

The widow of a jockey who died during a practice run at a Philadelphia horse racetrack received a $7.8 million damage award in 2010. Five million dollars of the judgment against Greenwood Racing Inc. -- the owner of the former Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack, now known as Parx Casino -- and two subsidiaries was punitive damages. The defendants filed a post-trial motion that threatened to upend the decision.

Pennsylvania woman still recovering from 2012 beach store fall

Pennsylvania residents are drawn to the shore to grab the last of summer's warmth before the season changes. Allegheny County beachgoers expect to come home from shore getaways with souvenirs and memories, not medical bills and injuries that threaten health and employment.

A Wyndmoor woman spent the Fourth of July 2012 in Ocean City, New Jersey. She visited a SuperFresh Supermarket, under the management of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc., where she fell and hit her head after sliding on a slippery floor. The woman recently filed a premises liability claim naming SuperFresh, A&P and the property owner.